Lunchbreak: Roasted eggplant mousse with seasonal vegetable bruschetta, prepared by Locavore Farm chef Rachael Jones

Midday News
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 Rachael Jones

Locavore Farm
16146 E. County Line Road
Grant Park, IL

Roasted Eggplant Mousse

3 medium-sized eggplants
1/2 lemon’s juice
1 medium onion, diced
4 Tbs olive oil
sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut eggplant in half and brush inside with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet face down and bake for about 40-45 minutes. Let cool until easy to handle. Using a spoon, scoop the eggplant away from the skin. It should detach very easily when cooked. Drain the eggplant in a colander for a few minutes to remove excess water. Place in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Puree the eggplants in a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth and mousse-like. Refrigerate until ready to spread.

Roasting Eggplant on Grill
To be done in advance of guests arrival/even the day before. If grilling, begin using the above instructions at the puree step.

Preheat grill before you begin to roast. Wash and dry eggplant. Pierce it a few times with a fork to vent. Wrap the eggplant generously with aluminum foil – cover completely with at least three layers. Make sure all sides are closed tightly. Place foil-covered eggplant on top of the grill over the open flame. Allow eggplant to roast over the flame for 15-30 minutes, giving it a quarter turn every five minutes as it cooks. Once the eggplant is very tender and collapsing, remove from heat with tongs and set aside. The tin foil will be extremely hot.  Allow to cool inside the tin foil for a few minutes. Unwrap the eggplant carefully (there will be hot steam inside). Slice the eggplant open. Scoop out the roasted pulpy flesh and place it in a bowl. Discard the charred skin and the foil.There will be some residual smoky juice that collects in the bowl; you can drain it off or blend it into the eggplant, depending on the flavor you want to achieve. Blend until smooth and refrigerate until ready to spread.

Seasonal Vegetable Bruschetta

3 ripe roma tomatoes (seeded and diced)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
3 green onions (sliced thinly)
3 summer squash (peeled and diced)
3 cucumbers (peeled and diced)
3 carrots (peeled and diced)
3 radishes (peeled and diced)
coarse salt and ground pepper
4 Tablespoons of olive oil
3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh arugula leaves and basil, cut into thin strips (use for garnish)

Preheat broiler on low. Arrange Italian bread slices and brush one side lightly with extra virgin olive oil (1 Tablespoon). Toast under broiler for approximately 3 minutes each side or until toasted lightly – or grill for about 3 minutes. Transfer toasts to serving plate. In a medium bowl, gently toss veggies with garlic, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl whisk together 3 Tablespoons of the olive oil, the 3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. May refrigerate two mixtures until ready to serve. When ready to serve, pour oil/vinegar mixture over veggie mixture and toss together gently.


Spread eggplant mousse on lightly grilled bread and top with raw vegetable bruschetta; finish with fresh arugula and sliced basil.

Grilled Bread
Use bread from your local bakery, or preferably available at your local farmers’ market.  We prefer a sourdough bread for this recipe. Lightly brush each side with olive oil. Place directly on grill and turn to achieve desired brownness.


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