Gnocchi with Eggplant, Goat Cheese, and Pear

Quite often I am left with a mish-mash of leftover ingredients from different meals, and  I am stuck with finding an interesting way to eat them for several meals.  If I am lucky, a moment of culinary inspiration will hit me, and I will throw together ingredients in one meal for dinner.  Sometimes it is delicious, and sometimes…it isn’t.  This time my culinary genius showed through.  It was such a good combination that I used up the rest of my leftovers to make the dish a second time.
When I sat down to eat this for dinner, I gave myself a pat on the back- it was very tasty!  You could taste the individual ingredients, and they all complimented each other.  I love a dinner that is a little bit sweet.  Eggplant and gnocchi provided a neutral base to which I added some sweet flavors.  This dish also has a wide array of textures: from the soft, meaty eggplant to the crunchy onions.
If you look closely at my pictures, you’ll see that pears are missing and replaced by figs.  This was a good combination too, but I tried the dish with the pears and preferred it that way.  This dish has many possibilities for swapping and mixing and matching.

GNOCCHI WITH EGGPLANT, GOAT CHEESE, AND PEAR
From Cinnamon Freud

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil
1 eggplant
2 cups gnocchi
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 red pear, sliced
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1-2 ounces herbed goat cheese
Honey

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.  Layer on paper towel and sprinkle with salt.  Let sit for 15-20 minutes to draw out the bitterness.  Pat dry.  Lightly spray/toss eggplant with olive oil.  Layer on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until beginning to brown.  Cool.  Coarsely chop and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.  Cook gnocchi according to instructions.  Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add some olive oil, red onion, and pear.  Cook 5-7 minutes, until onions begin to soften.  Add gnocchi and herbes de Provence and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add lemon juice and cook until liquid has evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.  Lower heat and add goat cheese.  Mix until melted and combined.  Serve with honey on top if desired.

Serves 2.

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