Eggplant and Tomato Whoppers
Recipe by Anna Gill
Serves: 4 as a main course or 8 as an appetizer
4 small eggplants, unpeeled, ends trimmed
4 teaspoons good green olive oil
4 firm ripe tomatoes, sliced thickly
2-3 cups fresh tomato sauce
8 ounces fresh ricotta or goat cheese
½ cup of finely shredded fresh basil leaves
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Slice the eggplant into 2 inch thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and let drain on paper towels, top and bottom for about 15 minutes. Score both sides of each slice with a sharp knife, try not to cut through the slices.
3. Place the eggplant slices in a roasting pan with a rack and roast until golden brown, about 30 to 45 minutes, turning as necessary to brown both sides.
4. Warm the fresh tomato sauce.
5. Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Spoon the fresh ricotta onto each slice of the eggplant, pressing it into the scored surface. Return the roasting pan to the oven until the cheese melts or begins to bubble.
6. Remove the roasting pan from the oven again. Top each eggplant slice with a slice of fresh tomato. Spoon a dollop of warm tomato sauce over each stack of vegetables. Top with another small scoop of the fresh ricotta. Sprinkle lightly with finishing salt and a pinch of shredded basil and serve.
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