Grilled Eggplant With Tomato And Feta Cheese

This Vegetarian addiction is a finely balanced combination of eggplant, tomatoes, and feta, all infused with fresh basil and extra virgin oil.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min
Total time: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant
3 large tomatoes to match the diameter of the eggplant
0.4 lbs Bulgarian feta cheese crumbled
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
juice of half lemon
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Cut the eggplant crosswise to ½” thick rounds. Season lightly with salt and leave them for 30 minutes on a side until the water has come out of the eggplant.

2. Once ready, drizzle some olive oil on top of each slice and grill them on a lightly oiled grill rack for 2 -3 minutes each side.

3. Blend the basil leaves with 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, and 1 teaspoon salt in an emersion blender until smooth.

4. Cut the tomatoes crosswise to 1/4″ thick rounds.

5. Lightly oil the baking pan. Arrange 4 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.

6. Preheat the oven to 400F.

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

Recipe from mazamag.com

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Sicilian Caponatina

Serves 6 to 8.  Serve with slices of freshly toasted garlic crostini.

3 whole eggplants

½ c. raisins

3 stalks celery

2 Tbsp. sugar

½ onion

1 tsp. chopped parsley

½ c. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

10 whole green olives, sliced

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. capers

1 Tbsp. fresh oregano

12 oz. Tomato sauce

1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

8 to 10 basil leaves, chopped

Peel eggplant and chop into ½ inch cubes.  Dice celery and onions.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add eggplant, celery, and onions.  Cook 12 to 15 min.  Add olives, capers, tomato sauce, vinegar, raisins, sugar, parsley, salt and red pepper flakes.  Stir thoroughly and remove from heat.  Cool in fridge for 1 hr.  Serve garnished with fresh oregano, tarragon, and basil.

Taken from The Herb Companion, January 2009 issue.

Roasted Eggplant and Feta Dip

Active Time: 40 min.

To Make Ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days

Makes 12 servings, about ¼ c. each.

If the dip is bitter, you can remedy that with a little sweetener.  Serve with Toasted Pita Chips or as a sandwich spread.

1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil

½ c. crumbled feta cheese, preferably Greek

½ c. finely chopped red onion

1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 small chile pepper, such as jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1 Tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste

¼ tsp. salt

Pinch of sugar (optional)

Position oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source; preheat broiler.  Line a baking pan with foil.  Place eggplant in the pan and poke a few holes all over it to vent steam.  Broil the eggplant, turning with tongs every 5 min., until the skin is charred and a knife inserted into the dense flesh near the stem goes in easily, 14 to 18 min.  Transfer to a cutting board until cool enough to handle.  Put lemon juice in a medium bowl.  Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scrape the flesh into the bowl, tossing with the lemon juice to help prevent discoloring.  Add oil and stir with a fork until the oil is absorbed.  (It should be a little chunky.)  Stir in feta, onion, bell pepper, chile pepper (if using), basil, parsley, cayenne and salt.  Taste and add sugar if necessary.

Taken from Eating Well magazine October 2008.

Imam Bayildi (Stuffed Eggplant)

The name of this much loved Turkish dish translates as ‘the Imam fainted’, and is said to represent his reaction on tasting the superb stuffed aubergines. Serves 6. This dish can be made in advance and is ideal for a buffet table.

3 aubergines (eggplants)

4 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 small red (bell) pepper, seeded and diced

1 small green (bell) pepper, seeded and diced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

5-6 tomatoes, skinned and chopped

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

about 1 c. boiling water

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

salt and ground black pepper

chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh, reserving the shells.  Set aside.  Heat 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil and fry the onion and peppers fro 5-6 min., until both are slightly softened but not too tender.  Add the garlic and continue to cook for a further 2 min., then stir in the tomatoes, chopped parsley and aubergine flesh.  Season and then stir well and fry over a medium heat for 2-3 min.  Heat the remaining oil in a separate pan and fry the aubergine shells, two at a time, on both sides.  Stuff the shells with the sautéed vegetables.  Arrange the aubergines closely together in an ovenproof dish and pour enough boiling water around the aubergines to come halfway up their sides.  Cover with foil (do NOT skip this step) and bake in the oven for 45-60 min., until the aubergines are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Place a half aubergine on each plate and sprinkle with a little lemon juice.

Recipe from Food and Cooking of Africa and the Middle East, by Josephine Bacon and Jenni Fleetwood

Eggplant, Smoked Mozzarella, and Basil Rolls

Serves 4

1 large eggplant

3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling (optional)

6 oz. smoke mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 slices

2 plum tomatoes, each cut into 4 slices

8 large basil leaves

Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the eggplant lengthways into 10 thin slices and discard the two outermost slices.  Sprinkle the slices with salt and leave for 20 min. (Salting the eggplant first not only draws out any bitter juices, it also makes the flesh denser, so that less fat is absorbed during cooking.)  Rinse, then pat dry with paper towel.  Preheat the broiler and line the rack with foil.  Place the eggplant slices on the grill rack and brush liberally with oil.  Broil for 8-10 min. until tender and golden, turning once.  Remove the eggplant slices from the broiler, then place a slice of mozzarella and tomato and a basil leaf in the center of each eggplant slice, and season to taste.  Fold the eggplant over the filling and broil seam-side down until heated through and the mozzarella begins to melt.  Serve drizzled with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar, if using.

Taken from Vegetarian: The Greatest Ever Vegetarian Cookbook, Ed. Nicola Graimes.

Eggplant Parmesan Grilled Pizza

Active Time: 20 min.  Makes: 1 pizza or 4-6 personal size pizzas

1 small eggplant (about 12 oz.)

Yellow cornmeal for dusting

1 pound whole-wheat pizza dough

¾ c. prepared marinara sauce

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1 med. clove garlic, minced

¾ c. thinly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat grill to medium-high.  Cut eggplant into 1/2-inch thick rounds.  Grill, turning once, until marked and softened, 4 to 6 min.  Let cool slightly, then thinly slice into strips.  Reduce heat to low.  Sprinkle cornmeal onto a pizza peel or large baking sheet.  Roll out the dough and transfer it to the prepared peel or baking sheet, making sure the underside of the dough is completely coated with cornmeal (don’t be afraid to use too much, this step will keep the dough from sticking when it slides off the pan into the grill).  Slide the crust onto the grill rack; close the lid.  Cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 min.  Using a large spatula, flip the crust.  Spread  marinara sauce on the crust, leaving a a 1-inch border.  Quickly top with the eggplant, basil and garlic.  Lay the Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings on top.  Close the lid again and grill until the cheese has melted and the bottom of the crust has browned, about 8 min.

Recipe from Eating Well Magazine (Aug 2008)

Eggplant Panini with Pesto

1 large eggplant, about 12-14 oz
kosher salt to taste
olive oil spray
12 oz french bread (or baguette), cut into 4 pieces
4 slices part skim mozzarella cheese (Sargento )
2 tbsp pesto
8 thin sliced tomato

Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place the eggplant slices on a paper towel and season with salt; set aside about 30 minutes. This will help draw some of the moisture out of the eggplant. Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. Preheat panini grill. Lightly spritz eggplant with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. When the grill is hot, grill eggplant about 7-8 minutes, turning once half way through. Set aside. Slice the bread open and place 3 slices of grilled eggplant, 1 slice of mozzarella, 1/2 tablespoon of pesto, and 2 slices of tomatoes on each sandwich. Close and lightly spray the top of the bread with oil. Place on a panini press and close until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted. Cut in half diagonally and eat immediately.

Recipe from SkinnyTaste.com