Eggplant & Tomato Sauce

Summer is so great when it comes to food!  There are so many delicious fruits and vegetables in season.  Eggplants and tomatoes are 2 things that should be hitting the farmer’s markets across the country now.  Here is a sauce I made up last week to take advantage of the bounty.  Feel free to adjust the ratio of ingredients to suite your tastes.  This is something you could make a lot of and can if you are feeling all “Little House on the Prairie.”  It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to make, but most of the time you don’t have to be standing at the stove, so you could be prepping the rest of the dinner, setting the table, folding the laundry, yelling at your kids, etc. at the same time.

Eggplant & Tomato Sauce

Ingredients-

1large or 2 small globe (Italian) eggplants
2 or 3 large meaty tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic – unpeeled
3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or other fresh herb of your choosing)
salt & pepper

large cast iron skillet
tongs

Directions-
Heat the skillet on medium-high heat so it is good and hot.  Make sure the eggplants and tomatoes are thoroughly dry.  Place the eggplant in the skillet whole.  Let it cook for about 10 minutes, then turn it 1/4 of the way with tongs.  Continue cooking eggplant this way until it is completely soft throughout and is charred on the outside.  It will look all deflated and floppy.  When the eggplant is about half done put the whole tomatoes and garlic in the skillet.  Turn them over as needed to soften and char – about every 5 minutes.
Remove everything from skillet.  Cut eggplant in half and scoop the meat out of the skin and put it into a large bowl.  It is ok if a few little pieces of skin get mixed in.  Smoosh the garlic with the side of your knife to squeeze it out of the skin.  Dice up and add to eggplant.  Dice tomatoes and add to eggplant.  If you want you can easily remove the tomato skin while chopping.  Season with chopped thyme, salt and pepper.
If the sauce is too runny for your liking, you can return it to the skillet and simmer for a few minutes to evaporate off some of the liquid.

Serve with your favorite pasta, use as a dip for bread, or use it to top chicken.

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