On Sunday when Mom came to dinner, she brought me three perfect, lavender baby eggplants from the Farmer’s Market. I wish I’d thought to take a “before” picture.
I thought of what I had on hand – fresh Michigan tomatoes, fragrant basil from my herb garden, tart goat cheese and toasted breadcrumbs made from my homemade croutons and came up with this recipe last night.
They were….phenomenal. And I’m going to share how I did it in case you’d like to make these little melt-in-your-mouth bites of goodness. They would be great for appetizers, side dishes or a meatless entree.
Baked Baby Eggplant Caprese
- three baby eggplants
- 1 c fresh chopped tomato
- 6 large basil leaves
- sea salt
- garlic powder
- olive oil
- 1/2-3/4 c goat cheese
Trim the tops and bottoms off each eggplant then slice them in half. Place the eggplant halves on paper towels, flesh side up and salt them. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. After 15 minutes, blot the eggplant and drizzle olive oil over the cut side lightly coating the surface. Place them flesh side down on a grill pan (I used my cast iron one) and roast them for 15 minutes. Chop the tomatoes, add sea salt and garlic powder to taste, chiffonade then stir in the basil and set aside. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the eggplant over (skin side down), top them with chunks of goat cheese, chopped tomatoes mixture, then a sprinkle of the crunchy breadcrumbs and place them back into the oven. Turn the oven off and remove them after 3-5 minutes until the goat cheese is warmed and softened.