Baked eggplant with goat cheese and tomatoes

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
6 \N Eggplants
¼ cup Olive oil
\N \N Flour; for coating
9 \N Tomatoes
1 pounds Goat cheese
20 \N Basil leaves
1 \N Thyme sprig
\N \N Salt and pepper
\N \N Fresh tomato sauce See separate recipe

Choose fresh medium-small eggplants.

Cut off the stem part of each eggplant. Cut lengthwise to five slices. One of the round slices won't be used, and can be used for other purposes. Sprinkle each slice with salt, and let stand half and hour. Wipe the extracted moisture with paper towels. Coat each eggplant slice with a thin layer of flour, and shake out excess flour.

Heat some olive oil in a large pan, and fry the eggplant slices on both sides until golden. Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Cool to room temperature. Keep the slices of each eggplant together.

For the filling, slice the tomatoes, crumble the goat cheese and coarsly chop the basil and thyme leaves.

In a baking pan, arrange six fried eggplant slices. Distribute ⅓ of the filling over the slices. Arrange another six slices over the filling, then another ⅓ of the filling, another six slices, the rest of the filling, and finally the top round slices.

Cut 6 bamboo skewers halfwise. Use two halves to secure together each filled eggplant in two different points.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes.

Spoon fresh tomato sauce on 6 individual plates. Using a flat spoon, transfer carefully each eggplant to an individual plate. Remove bamboo skewers, and serve immediately. Origin: Israel Aharoni, a well-known Israeli Chef. Appeared in the "Yediot Aharonot" newspaper, October 1994.

Translated by Gabi Shahar, October 1994.

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