Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Eggplant or Aubergine from the French, derived from Catalan albergínia; and from Arabic al-bãdhinjãn الباذنجان Persian بادنجان bâdinjân, is a perfect relative of the potato, rich and full of possibilities.

Nowhere are those possibilities more flavorful than in the cuisines of the Mediterranean, in particular the ancient flavors of North Africa

The many Arabic and North African names for eggplant, along with the lack of ancient Greek and Roman titles, indicate that this vital plant was not introduced to the Mediterranean until the early Middle Ages, and then by the Arabs who eventually invaded Persia.

But no matter what you call it, this royal purple people pleaser in the right setting and served by skilled hands makes a classic dish in any language.

Aubergine du fromage trois


1 medium eggplant
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan
8-10 small slices of fresh mozzarella
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the bread coating:

¾ cup pain bread crumbs
soy milk, unsweetened


Slice both ends off eggplant then divide in half lengthwise. Starting with one cut side cut a thin slice (no more than ¼ inch), then alternate with the other half until you have 8-10 thin slices.

Place the sliced eggplant on a fresh towel and apply a generous amount of saltturn the slices over and salt the opposite side. Cover with a second fresh towel. Tightly wrap and store the remaining eggplant. It will keep fresh about 2 days refrigerated or you can freeze it cubed and use in sauces or soup. Thawed eggplant loses its texture.

The stuffing:

Mix ricotta, parmesan and basil in a small bowl, set aside.
Mix bread crumbs salt and pepper to taste in a separate small bowl and rinse the salt from the eggplant slices under cold running water, pat dry, this salting will have removed most of the excess water from the flesh of the eggplant.

Evenly spread 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture/basil over each slice of eggplant and place a slice of mozzarella about midway across the slice.

Starting with the large end, roll the slice just tight enough so that a bit of the mixture seals the end of the roll. Immediately immerse in soy milk and then coat by rolling in the seasoned bread crumb. Fry in the heated olive ol turning occasionally.

Set on clean towel to drain any excess oil.

Serve immediately or cover to keep warm until ready to serve. These will re-warm well in a low oven set to 200 degrees.

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