Farmer’s Market Balsamic Bowl

You need to make this recipe in the next month; let me convince you why. Ingredients always play a large role in making a recipe delicious. The higher quality ingredients you put it in, the better the output will be. However, with some recipes you can get away without using the best ingredients possible; this is not one of those recipes. 

As you can probably tell from the name, I highly recommend that you go to your local farmers market to get the two central ingredients to this recipe. High quality, sweet and juicy tomatoes will make this recipe shine, and when combined with fresh local eggplants it will floor you. So, this is my ask to you, make this recipe before mid September. Go out, support your local farmers and reap the benefits from all their hard work, you will not be disappointed. 

Now that I have (hopefully) convinced you to make this recipe, let’s talk about it. This is a delicious bowl using fresh tomatoes and eggplants and combining these two wonderful veggies (yes, I know tomatoes are a fruit but still) with the acidic punch of balsamic. I had never really prepared any meals with roasted tomatoes until last year and have since loved them. 

This recipe benefits from taking a bit of extra time up front to both press and marinate the tofu, as well as to salt the eggplant. This recipe calls for Fairy Tale Eggplant, which are often just labelled as mini eggplants. They can be found at most farmers markets. In terms of tomatoes I would suggest tomatoes that are on the juicier end so that way they explode their delicious flavour in the bowl. I hope you go out and make this recipe soon, you will not be disappointed.

Active time: 45 Minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fairy tale eggplant 
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu
  • Half cup balsamic 
  • 2 tbsp honey 
  • 4 cloves garlic 
  • Add 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound tomatoes, preferably juicy variety
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Neutral oil, for cooking
  • Sale & pepper to taste. 

Directions:

  1. Cut the stems off the fairy tale eggplants and cut them in half lengthwise. Lay them face up on a baking sheet and sprinkle a couple generous pinches of saltr on them to pull out the water. Let them sit for 30 minutes to an hour. 
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Right after, begin pressing the tofu. Press for 15 minutes while making the marinade. 
  3. To make the marinade combine the balsamic and the honey together and then press the garlic into it. Pepper it to taste. 
  4. Use half of the marinade you to marinate the tofu. Cut the tofu into small cubes and let them sit in the marinade for about 30 minutes. 
  5. Now, cut the tomatoes in half, taking out the tough bit where the stem attaches. If your tomatoes are quite large, cut them in quarters. 
  6. Once the eggplants are done being salted, wipe off the water that was extracted out of them by the salt with a paper towel. In a large bowl, add the rest of the marinade and add the olive oil. Put the eggplants in and coat them nicely, lay them on a baking sheet. Repeat with the tomatoes on a separate baking sheet. Salt both vegetables generously with about a half tsp of salt. Now put both of them in the oven. Both will take roughly 30 minutes, flipping in between. 
  7. While the vegetables are cooking, make the quinoa according to the instructions on the container. 
  8. Make the tofu, heat a large pan to medium heat. Coat the bottom in a thin layer of a neutral oil and pour the tofu and the marinade into the pan together. Cook until the marinade has evaporated away and the tofu has begun to crisp; roughly 10 minutes. 
  9. Once the vegetables are done, time to assemble! Add all three ingredients to your bowl in your preferred proportions and enjoy! 

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