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Simply brush a loaf of ciabatta bread with olive oil, and grill it till crisp. In the meantime, mix together your favorite goat cheese, along with some mascapone, to even out the tang.Mix in some lemon peel and fresh herbs, I used basil and parsley, set aside.

After you have grilled your eggplant that was also brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper, lightly toss it in a balsamic vinaigrette. ( a very important step!)

Now spread that creamy mixture over that crispy ciabatta and layer your eggplant on top, oh yeah, I also grilled up some red pepper for a little color and added flavor! Serve at room temperature. I hope you eggplant lovers try this!!


This recipe is adapted from Michael Chiarello. Take a mandoline or a vegetable peeler and make length wise strips of zucchini. Toss them in some olive oil and place on grill, he suggested cooking only one side, but I did both. It cooks up fast so watch it, you just want it lightly wilted with light grill marks. Place them all on a platter. In the meantime, whisk together a fresh lemon and olive oil dressing, adding some crushed garlic, just a hint! of course salt and pepper to taste.

Now add fresh basil and parsley roughly chopped and toss into the zucchini ribbons. Pour the lemon dressing all over.
Top it off with some shaved Pecorino and toasted pinenuts! Can I just say, Yumm!


Lilac’s are popping up everywhere here in Chicagoland! They are in full bloom right now, and the smell is incredible! These were taken from a big bush I have in my backyard. Thought I’d share this bouquet with all of you.
Note to all my blog friends… I will be gone on vacation for 1 week, we are flying to sunny California, ( Napa Valley & San Francisco, Woo Hoo!!) I will be sure to come back with plenty of pictures to share, after all it is a foodie lovers dream trip! So with that being said, I won’t be around to visit you till I come back, don’t worry you are all in my reader, I’ll look forward to catching up when I get back.
See you soon,

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  1. beautiful pictures..and delicious pictures…you are terrific!!

  2. Have a wonderful vacation, Marie.
    Your bruschetta looks delicious!

  3. So Beautiful Marie!
    I love the lilacs but they don’t love me- I have a beautiful bush about 8 feet from my front door that is blooming right now but it’s killing me! *sniff wheeze*

    Oh I hope you have a great time in one of my favourite places on earth! Drink lots of beautiful wine for me!

  4. Well Marie the dishes are BEAUTIFUL!!! I love eggplants and zuccini but Im fall in love of your Lilacs, looks wonderful. Beauty pictures!! Have a nice weekend, I will miss you I know!!!xGloria

  5. Bruschetta looks scrumptious! Last weekend I tried an artichoke bruschetta but don’t have pics like yours. I grew up with Lilacs growing in our backyard in SE Pennsylvania, so thanks for the nostalgia. Such a beautiful flower 🙂

  6. Me again! I made the zucchini salad last night too. Yumm & easy – my kind of food. I used my Le Creuset stove-top grill which was perfect since I wasn’t grilling anything else. The whole family loved it! The flavors blended so nicely. Again, you’re making me look good for my family – kisses to you!

    xoxox Amy

  7. Is there anyone who doesn’t like eggplants? People must be crazy if they don’t, especially after your wonderful bruschetta!

    Your lilacs are amazingly pretty!!!

  8. u always manage to tempt me with your your food. Hope you have a wonderful trip.

  9. I love the ribbon idea. They look so yummy and delicate :).

  10. HAVE YOURSELF A FAB VACATION Marie!!! I love this post…all the colours, the flavours & the flowers! Awesome!!

  11. Everything on here looks great. I can;t wait to try the eggplant! Those lilacs brought back some great memories. I had a bush under my window when I was growing up. I so miss them!

    Enjoy your trip!

  12. Both look Yummy!

  13. Oh both these dishes look and sound yummy ! Lilacs are also in bloom in ‘clevelandland’, love the scents on my morning walks.

    Have fun on vacation !

  14. Those both look so good!! Grilled eggplant and grilled zucchini are two of my summer favorites! Great way to use them bot! Bookmarked.

  15. The bruschetta looks great. I don’t think I have every cooked eggplant or bruschetta, so maybe I’ll try this and kill two birds with one stone.

  16. Your photos are incredible, and I can’t wait to try the eggplant thing. Just gorgeous. The salad? All I can say is, you’re out of control. 😉

  17. That bruschetta is a wowzer! Gorgeous!

    I’m so jealous of your lilacs. When I lived up North, we had them growing all over our yard. I miss them so much!

    Hope you’re having a fabulous time!

  18. You lucky girl! I hope you get a chance to visit Michael Chiarello’s vinyard. We love his “Giana” zinfandel wine. We had some the other day at Dishdash when we celebrated mother’s day. The weather should be perfect for your trip. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! You left us with the perfect recipes to tide us over until you return. Love your lilacs & your Moreno “candies.”

    Tanti baci, my friend,

  19. i’ve been eyeing the oxo mandoline for quite some time now; it will definitely be my next kitchen toy and then I will be able to make all the zucchini ribbons I want! great post!

  20. OH my gosh. Amazing pictures. I can’t wait to begin grilling season. We’re certainly ready for it weather-wise here in San Diego. That zucchini ribbon salad looks so delicious. I need a mandoline!

  21. I keep seeing eggplant on blogs. It is making me crazy. Gotta have it!

    I grew up in Chicago, Lilac Bushes lined our entire back fence, thanks for the fragrant memory.

    And Bon Voyage Marie! Want to hear about where you are eatin and drinkin!

  22. I must say Marie, you dishes look beautiful, but those lilacs steal the show! Oh how I remember the smell of those from my childhood as we had a big bush also in our yard.
    And I am so jealous! Going to California! That is my very favorite spot in the US to visit!
    Have a great time and I looks forward to lots of pics!

  23. The girl’s got her grill goin’ on!

    I love zucchini and eggplants seared like this and as for your lilacs…ours are just ready to bloom, can’t wait for that Spring aroma.

  24. Two of my favorite foods, in any form, are eggplant and zucchini. THANKS for these beautiful recipes! Enjoy your lilacs, too.

  25. Wait….I have to scream “Aaaahhhhhhh!! that bruschetta looks SO delicious. I love grilled egg plant, sadly I’m the only one in the family. Mmmmmm… then I don’t have to share!

  26. You can find me sitting on my deck with lilacs in hand and eating eggplant bruschetta and zucchini salad:D

  27. wow, eggplant AND zucchini- both probably my favourite vegetables! I love both, but if the zucchini salad were in front of me now I would eat it immediately!

  28. I think I just stepped onto cloud 9! Grilled eggplants, zucch salad with pine nuts, AND lilacs? This is definately heaven. 🙂

  29. oh my i almost fell from my chair when i saw the first look soooo gooooooooood!!! this bruschetta with eggplant is now my fave!!

    i love the way you decorated your bruschetta really gorgeous!!

  30. Your photos and dishes always amaze me.You turn a few simple ingrediants into the extrodinary. Have a safe trip and enjoy your vacation. See you when you get back.

  31. I love your photos! Everything looks so fresh and wonderful!

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