Monday, October 29, 2012

Baked Eggplant

Baby Clara is loving her sponge baths.  That makes one of us that is showering!

This is a recipe that I tried out before Clara was born.  I saw a pin on Pinterest titled "The Grilled Eggplant Recipe That Got 100K+ Repins".  I really like eggplant so I decided to give it a try.  Let me start by saying that I didn't grill the eggplant, which is why my recipe is called Baked Eggplant.  Second, while Tim and I both enjoyed the meal, I'm not sure it warrants 100k+ pins.  Maybe it would have been a 5 star recipe if the eggplant was in season or if I'd used the grill.  I'll let you try it out and decide for yourself. 

2 medium eggplant
3 large tomatoes, to match the diameter of the eggplant
8 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup fresh basil leaves + 8 extra leaves for topping
Juice of lemon
4 garlic cloves
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.  Arrange oven rack in the middle position.  Place tin foil under the rack.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Cut of the eggplant crosswise into ½” thick rounds. Lightly season them with salt and leave them for 30 minutes on a side to let water to come out of the eggplant.

3.  Once ready drizzle some olive oil on top of each slice and "grill" them on the middle oven rack for 2 -3 minutes each side.  Set aside.

4.  Blend the basil leaves with 6-8 tablespoons olive oil, garlic cloves, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt and ground pepper in a blender until smooth.

5.  Cut the tomatoes crosswise to 1/4” thick rounds.

6.  Cover a baking pan in foil and lightly oil the baking pan.  Arrange eggplant rounds side by side.  Spread 1/2 tablespoon of the basil-garlic mixture on top of each one, then generously sprinkle feta crumbs. Top each with tomato rings. Add another layer of eggplant, basil spread, feta and tomato rounds and top with the rest of the crumbled feta.  I ran out of feta cheese so I topped it off with grated Parmesan.

7.  Drizzle some olive oil on top of each stack and bake for 15 minutes.

8.  Remove from the oven and top with chopped basil leaves.  This is great with a side of pasta.

Servings: 3-4

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