Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roasted Eggplant with Ricotta and Mint

This is like eggplant bruschetta, except the eggplant is the bruschetta, topped with a Mediterranean summer salsa of a salad and was created by one of our favorite food bloggers Smitten Kitchen.  Here is the link to her post (Click Here) and we have re-posted the recipe here with our slight changes.
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Roasted Eggplant with Ricotta and Mint
1 to 2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons STAR California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 pounds eggplant (about 2 medium), in 3/4- to 1-inch slices
2 ounces (1/2 cup) ricotta salata or feta (We used feta)
2 tablespoons STAR Capers, drained
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
3 seeded, diced medium tomatoes (1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoon STAR Red Wine Vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper.

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet generously with STAR California EVOO, about 1 to 2 tablespoons. Arrange eggplant rounds in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast, without disturbing, for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully flip each piece: the undersides should be blistery, dark and a bit puffy and should release from the pan with no effort. If they’re not, let it cook longer. Once flipped, sprinkle them with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper and return the pan to the oven for another 10 to 12 minutes or so, until the undersides match the tops.
Meanwhile, mix your cheese, STAR capers, onion, tomatoes, mint, Red Wine Vinegar and remaining 4 teaspoons olive oil in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning; the cheeses tends to be quite salty so you might only need a pinch of salt, if that. Add more vinegar, if desired. Add freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

When the eggplant discs are done, arrange them on a serving platter. Scoop a spoonful of the salad over each round. Eat immediately. We served them on a bed of mixed greens.

Makes about 4 appetizer/salad portions, assuming people will eat two rounds each.


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