Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grilled eggplant pockets

Last weekend we got invited over to our friends Anna and Beau to meet Beau's lovely parents.
Therefore and also because I went a little "cooking crazy" 
I prepared all kinds of summer food stuff to bring and eat.
I already posted the Gazpacho which was one of the things I made. 
But I also felt like trying out more new things!
I've never ever prepared eggplant myself.
 So I decided to make these little grilled eggplant pockets:

For 8 pockets you'll need:
2 big long eggplants
2 plum tomatos (these are the long ones!) cut into a total of 16 slices
225g / 8 slices mozzarella (preferably buffalo mozzarella!)
16 basil leaves
salt, pepper

1 tbsp tomato purrée
1 tbsp Balsamico vinegar
4 tbsp Olive oil
salt, pepper, sugar or honey

Roasted Pine nuts
roughly chopped basil leaves

To prepare the eggplants first remove the stems, 
then cut each fruit in 8 thin slices (lengthwise!) of approx. 5mm thickness.
The pieces at the edges do not count.
Boil the slices in salted water for a maximum of about 2 minutes 
(they should not be completely cooked yet).
Dry them between sheets of paper towel.
Cut each tomato and the mozzarella in 8 slices.

Now take two eggplant slices and lay them on top of each other in the shape of a cross.
Put a slice of tomato in the middle, season it with salt and pepper and top it off with a basil leaf one slice of mozzarella, again a basil leaf and another slice of tomato seasoned with salt and pepper.
Now flip the ends of the eggplant over the little tomato-basil-mozzarella tower and form a pocket.
It doesn't really matter which eggplant slice you start with.
It just should all stick together and look neat in the end...

Now coat both sides of each pocket with a thin layer of olive oil 
and throw it on the grill of your hibachi! 
Grill for about 5 minutes each side (depends a bit on how hot the hibachi is).
The mozarella should start melting
In case you don't have a hibachi you can also sear them in a pan.
Same thing: 5 minutes each side.

For the vinaigrette mix tomato purrée, balsamico and olive oil and season to taste with salt pepper and a bit of sugar or honey.
Sprinke the vinaigrette and roasted pine nuts such as chopped basil leaves 
over the grilled/seared eggplant pockets.


I also made some tapas. 
More about this in my next post!

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