Purchasing this was really pushing the edge of my vegetable tolerance. I can put up with zucchini if I have to, though I'd be happier if it just disappeared from the planet so that I never encountered it. And eggplant? Well, I've never had it before, because it's in that category of things that are so obviously icky that why would I?
But I have a vegetable-loving girlfriend to feed, and a daily blog to write, so one must take some chances. Sometimes I try something new and I'm pleasantly surprised--like discovering the wonderful world of hummus. Other times, my prejudices are confirmed. As, for example, here.
Both the eggplant and zucchini pieces were kind of tough and stringy while somehow also managing to be slimy. That is not a winning combination of adjectives. In case it matters to you, this dish is also not vegan-friendly, with little globs of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
What's Good at Trader Joe's blog: "All in all, this dish is better than zucchini or eggplant served plain by themselves. There's a tomatoey sort of sauce and some bits of mozzarella (which I didn't even notice while eating the dish, to be honest with you) and some bits of tomato...and maybe some other mysterious things...It tasted like what you'd expect. It's stewed vegetables in a sauce. Not bad at all. My only complaints are that the pieces of eggplant were too big, and they were a little chewy. I think eggplant has an underrated taste, but it really has to be cooked a certain way or chopped up into tiny little bits and pieces for the texture not to ruin the experience."
Eating at Joe's blog: "Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not a big fan of melanges in general.... Nevertheless, Trader Joe’s Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Melange is a credit to the name – a tasty, tangy, cheesy mixture of two of the vegetable world’s least celebrated members.... Eggplant and zucchini, despite their frumpy reputations, actually serve very well in this dish. Both veggies have a mild taste that complement each other and the sauce they come in, while providing enough heft to make for a satisfying mouthful. That said, nothing is done to ameliorate the texture of the large, floppy eggplant slices, which remain, as ever, a bit mealy and soggy."
Will I buy it again?
Not in this lifetime.
Oh dear. This was just really NOT GOOD. I can only hope that Bob will be able to blank out his memory of this experience on the day when *I* get around to serving him something with eggplant in it.