Ingredients

  • 1 globe eggplant (small, about 1 lb., cut lengthwise into quarters)
  • 12garlic cloves (minced)
  • 9 rosemary sprigs (large fresh, with strong woody stems)
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1.2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 zucchini (cut into rounds about 1/2 inch thick)
  • 1 pt cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Thyme and Pepper walnuts  (recipe below)

 

Directions:

Cut the eggplant quarters into slices about 1/2 inch thick.

Add the garlic to a large bowl. Pluck the leaves from 1 rosemary sprig and add them to the bowl.  the in the same bowl combine olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, honey, garlic, pepper and salt.  Set aside one tablespoon of the mixture.   Pour remaining mixture over vegetables.  Seal bag; turn to coat, Marinate in the refrigerator 2 hours.

In small bowl combine ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and the reserved 1 tablespoon of marinade.

Meanwhile, strip the leaves from the bottom two-thirds of the remaining 8 rosemary sprigs (reserve the leaves for another use). Place the sprigs in a shallow dish, add water to cover and soak for 1 hour to prevent them from burning on the grill.

Drain the rosemary sprigs. Thread the vegetables onto the sprigs, alternating the eggplant slices, zucchini slices and tomatoes, and shaking off any excess marinade as you remove the vegetables from the bowl. Reserve the marinade.

About 15 minutes before you plan to serve the vegetable skewers, prepare a hot fire in a grill.

Grill the vegetables, turning once or twice, until the vegetables are tender but not falling apart, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with the remaining marinade.   Spoon tiny dab of  ricotta mixture cheese on top of each vegetable and top with thyme and pepper walnuts. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 4.

Thyme and Pepper Walnuts

In medium skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped  walnuts and toss to coat.  Cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until toasted.  Add 1/4 teaspoon thyme and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and toss to coat.

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