The vegetable garden is in decline, of course, at this season, but I picked nearly a dozen eggplants of various sizes a couple of days ago. In talking about how we would cook them, Walt remembered something our friend Peter Hertzmann made for us on one of his recent visits.
It's called Aubergines en pizza, and it's a French recipe Peter says he originally got from Elle à table. I haven't been successful in finding it there, but here's Peter's recipe on his A la Carte site.
Also, Walt blogged about eggplant "pizzas" back when Peter cooked these for us here in Saint-Aignan. Here's Walt's post.
We modified the recipe to use the ingredients we had on hand. Instead of emmental or some other Alpine cheese, we used mozzarella. We used basil instead of oregano. We didn't have anchovies, so we added salt to the recipe. And so on.
Here's the recipe we came up with. It's a keeper:
Aubergines en « pizza »
4 medium eggplants
2 large tomatoes, finely diced
2 little mozzarella cheeses, sliced
12 fresh basil leaves, minced
salt and pepper
grated parmesan cheese (at the table)Preheat the oven to 180°C/350ºF.
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, including the stem. With a small knife, make a series of cuts in a crisscross fashion, spaced about a centimeter apart, into the eggplant flesh but without piercing the skin.
Lay the eggplant halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil over them. Spread the diced tomato evenly over the scored surfaces. Sprinkle the minced basil leaves over them and season with salt and pepper. Finally, place the sliced mozzarella over all.
Bake the “pizzas” until the eggplant is tender, about 30 minutes. Serve with olive oil and grated parmesan cheese.
I think some garlic mixed in with the diced tomato would be good, and I'll try that next time. And I might try doing the same thing with zucchini/courgettes instead of eggplants/aubergines.