I feel bad for the eggplant. While I adore her – and her versatility – nobody else in my house loves eggplant. It gets worse: Not only do my men, all five of them, not like her, they despise her. So passionately, that they have her on the radar. It is impossible for me to sneak her into any dish. My troupe will detect the finest slice, the most subtle paste, the tiniest dollop of pureed eggplant wherever I try to hide it. So most of the time, our kitchen functions eggplant free.
But every now and then I protest in my very own way, by preparing an eggplant meal just for myself. Celebrating, highlighting and respecting this – in my house, anyways – forbidden fruit, brings my mind at least a little peace. And after having enjoyed my meal, I always feel happy and serene. Thank you, my beloved eggplant, you tolerant and humble, dark beauty!
Tartine* aux Aubergines (Eggplant Toast)
(makes 2 pieces)
- 1 pce small eggplant
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- 2 slices of a dark, dense bread, 1/2 inch thick
- 2 tbsp pesto
- 6 pce sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
- 8 pce olives, pitted and chopped
- 2 oz goat cheese (like Bucheron), in chunks
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Wash eggplant, cut in 1/4 inch thick slices. Put slices on a baking sheet, baste with a little olive oil and bake in the pre heated oven, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat – but do not turn off the oven -, sprinkle with salt and set aside.
Spread bread slices with pesto, put on the baking sheet. Cover the bread slices with eggplant slices, overlapping each other. Top with sun dried tomatoes, olives and goat cheese. Bake in the oven, about 8-10 minutes, or until cheese starts to brown.
*Tartine is the French name of a slice of bread that is spread or topped with one or multiple things. (It is one of my favorite words in French, that’s why I used it in the name of this simple dish, that also can be served as Hors d’Oeuvre or small appetizer.)