by Rebeka Carpenter
Sweet little individual stacks of tender eggplant topped with pesto, creamy ricotta and chunky tomato sauce. So good they want to be rolled up and eaten with your bare hands in front of strangers.
- 1 cup Tuscan Kale Pesto or pesto of choice
- 2 large eggplants (or 3 medium)
- olive oil for brushing
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3½ cups sliced Roma tomatoes (about 7 tomatoes)
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 cup ricotta
- ¼ cup Parmesan or chèvre
- sprigs of fresh herbs such as thyme, tarragon and oregano, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°.
Score the skins of the eggplant by piercing with a fork and running the tongs of the fork down the length of the fruit, cutting stripes into the skin. Cut off the stem and slice the eggplant into rounds, ½ inch thick. If you are working with smaller eggplants, cut on an angle so that you have more surface area for the tasty toppings. Brush both sides of each round lightly with olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes, turn pieces over and bake another 15 minutes.* Remove from oven and leave on baking sheet. While the eggplant is baking, prepare the tomato sauce. In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high and sauté onions and garlic until browning, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper and continue to cook until the tomatoes have softened and much of the moisture has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta and Parmesan or chèvre. Spread a dollop of pesto on top of each piece of eggplant. Follow with a dollop of the ricotta and top with a spoonful of the tomato sauce. Place the stacks in the oven and warm to your liking (5–10 minutes). Garnish with fresh herb sprigs.
*The eggplant can also be grilled instead of baked for a whole different layer of smoky taste.
From our newly published cookbook, Hollyhock Garden to Table, available here.
Rebeka, our Kitchen Manager, is a professed lifelong “foodee”. Her love of providing a place for people to relax and breathe deeply, and fill both their soul and their belly with nourishment, feels at home overlooking the changing waters of the Pacific at Hollyhock.
Cook with our cookbook authors, Moreka Jolar and Heidi Scheifley, Oct 18-23, on Cortes Island. More info here. And, find out more about what Moreka and Heidi are up to by checking out their blog.
Join the founder of Fungi Perfecti, Paul Stamets, for Mushrooms: Wild & Mysterious at Hollyhock, Oct 23-27.