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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Eggplant with Farmers Cheese

Taste 4 (out of 5)
Difficulty 4 (out of 5)
- 1 large eggplant (110 cal)
- 1 1/2 tbsp oil (180 cal)
- 50 g breadcrumbs (180 cal)
- 4 egg yolks (60 cal)
- 30 g Parmigiano-Reggiano (120 cal)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 30 g coarsely grated mozzarella (80 g)
For White Layer
- 100 g farmers cheese (170 cal)
- 30 g feta cheese, crumbled (100 cal)
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 20 g pine nuts (135 cal)
- 1 tsp dijon mustard (5 cal)
- 1 tbsp yogurt (10 cal)
- 2 egg yolks (30 cal)
- 1/4 tsp paprika
For Red Layer
- 1/2 medium onion (30 cal)
- 1 garlic clove (5 cal)
- 1 tbsp sun dried tomatoes (45 cal)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (20 cal)
- 1/2 roasted red bell pepper (15 cal)
- salt and pepper to taste
Total 1295 cal, 4 servings, 325 cal/serving
1. Peel the eggplant and slice into 12 rounds about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick. Sprinkle eggplant rounds with salt and leave in a bowl of cold water for about 30 minutes to remove the bitterness. Drain and wash the eggplants.
2. Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano and dried basil. Heat a large skillet with 1 tbsp oil. Soak the eggplant rounds in egg, coat with breadcrumb mix and fry on low medium heat for about 10 minutes per side, until nicely browned. 
3. Chop the onion, the garlic and the pepper. Place all the ingredients for the red layer in a small frying pan, preheated with 1/2 tbsp oil and saute for about 15 minutes on low medium heat until the onions are translucent. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor to form smooth paste. 
4. Mix all the ingredients for the white layer. 
5. Place 4 fried eggplant rounds on a silicon lined baking sheet. Spread the white layer, top with 4 more rounds, spread the red layer and cover with the last eggplant piece. 
6. Bake in an oven preheated to 400F for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella and bake for 5 more minutes until the cheese melts. 
It tastes quite well, but takes disproportionately long to prepare. If I make this dish again, I will probably have only the white layer, maybe add the sun dried tomatoes to it and will directly bake the raw eggplant soaked in eggs and dipped in the breadcrumb mix. This should save 80% of the work and  will probably taste very similar.