Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Tomato-Mozzarella in Eggplant Pouches
These pouches made out of eggplant and filled with tomato, mozzarella, and basil make a good side or appetizer. Although we were missing some of the ingredients (fresh basil and sun-dried tomato paste) we made it work and were quite happy with the results.
Eight filled eggplant pouches:
2 medium or one large eggplant
8 oz (225 g) mozzarella cheese
2-3 tomatoes (16 slices)
4 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs sun-dried tomato paste
1 Tbs lemon juice
Fresh basil, salt, pepper
Wash the eggplant and remove the tips from both ends. Slice the eggplant longways into thin slices (about 1/4 in or 5 mm or thinner). You need 16 slices (not including the ends). We managed to get this out of one large eggplant (although the pieces were a little bit odd shaped) but we don't exactly know how we did!
While you are slicing the eggplant, put a large pot of salt water on to boil.
Once the water is boiling, drop in the eggplant slices and let cook for about two minutes. Drain and run cold water over the slices. You may need to use a paper towel to dry them to make the next part easier.
Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella. Then, lay two eggplant slices on a flat surface so they make a cross.
At the intersection, place a tomato slice and mozzarella slice. If you have fresh basil add a basil leaf. We did not have a basil plant and it is not a good time to buy them so we had to use dried basil. It was still good but we think fresh would have been better.
Add another tomato slice, season with salt and pepper. We used a seasoned salt instead of plain salt.
Close the pouch like you would wrap a present, folding each end in.
Once all eight pouches are finished, refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
During this time you can make the sauce that goes with them. Mix the oil, vinegar, lemon juice and sun-dried tomato paste. We did not have this either so we used regular tomato paste. It worked out but we definitely think sun-dried tomato paste would be better.
Turn on the broiler, remove the pouches from the refrigerator and place on the oven rack. Use a brush to brush each pouch with either the sauce you just made (this is what we did because we did not think we could use all of it on its own) or will plain olive oil.
Place under the broiler and cook for about five minutes on each side.
Serve with the sauce and extra basil leaves. We also ate bread with the leftover sauce.