Friday, April 24, 2009

Fresh Eggplants Summer Style


3 large eggplants (very fresh and without too many seeds)
1 bag arugula
Large handful cherry tomatoes
Dried Ricotta cheese
Salt and Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Parchment paper

1) Start by cutting off some of the skin off of the eggplant, leave some purple for color. Then thinly slice the eggplant length ways. Place the eggplant in a bowl, each layer sprinkle on salt. Adding salt to the eggplant takes all the water out of it for baking.
2) Let the salt stay on the eggplant for 20-30 minutes. There should be water draining from the eggplant. Pat dry with a paper towel.
3) Cover a baking pan with parchment paper. Spread olive oil on the parchment paper. Line the eggplant, after you have dried them off, on the parchment paper, overlapping the edges. It should look like a square sheet of eggplant. You may need two baking pans. Pour olive oil on top of the eggplant.
4) Bake in the oven at 375 degrees until the eggplant turn a light shade of brown. Dont overcook because they will burn and get too chewy.
5) Take out of the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes. While waiting, prepare the tomatoes. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and squeeze to remove the juices.
6) Grate the dried ricotta cheses into a bowl. You will need about a cup.
7) Remove the eggplant from the tray. Spread the arugula on top of the eggplant. Then add tomatoes flatly on top of the arugula.
8) Next sprinkle the cheese around the square. With your hands tear apart the basil and sprinkle on the eggplant. Add some salt and pepper to taste.
9) With the parchment paper as your guide, Very tightly roll the eggplant into a log. Make sure you are keeping it tight. Keep in the parchment paper and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
10) Take out and cut with a very sharp knife, about an inch thick slices. Serve on a bed of romaine lettuce or left over arugula. Sprinkle with some olive oil and black pepper. Serve cold.