August 17, 2006

Mini Papillotes d'Aubergines

Doesn't this look cute? When I saw this recipe on CuisineTV, France's Food Network, prepared by the ever cute, Carinne, of Fiches Cuisine, I thought they looked fun. I always feel so good about my French, too, when I can understand an entire TV show, but I guess cooking shows are a bit easier... I mean, they are talking about food, which is a rather large part of my vocabulary. Anyway, I always get a kick out of her and her easy recipes.

So, I guess, in hind sight, I could have realized that this recipe would be kind of bland. It's almost too simple to be good, you know? But, I loved the idea and was determined to try it. I think it has a lot of potential. I can tell you that it's much easier if you can find an eggplant that is rather long and thin, which will aide in folding up the papillote. You could tie a little chive around the packet for an adorable presentation.

Mini-Papillotes d'Aubergines
(adapted from Fiches Cuisines)

1 medium eggplant
4 thick slices fresh mozzarella
4 slices ripe tomato
4-6 large basil leaves
salt and pepper
2 canned artichoke hearts, drained (my addition, not in original recipe)

Prepare the eggplant.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).
2. Cut off the stem end of the eggplant and a tiny piece from the bottom so it stands up straight.
3. Place the eggplant on a cutting board and carefully slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices.
4. Place 2 slices of eggplant in a cross shape on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining slices. You should have enough for 4 crosses.
5. Brush with small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining slices.
6. Place in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the pieces are just flexible.Remove the pre-cooked eggplant cross to a cutting board.
1. In the center, layer one slice mozzarella, a basil leaf, a tomato slice and a slice of artichoke heart. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
2. Fold the top eggplant slice in to the middle, then fold the outer layer to the middle and secure with a toothpick or two.
3. Repeat with remaining eggplant crosses, making 4 packets.
4. Place in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft, warmed through and the cheese has melted. Serves 4. Next time I'll try to add something more flavorful. Maybe using some leftover ratatouille, a stronger cheese, or brushing the eggplant itself with more salt or herbs. Perhaps adding a sun dried tomato, or grilling the eggplant would help, as well.

What do you think?


Tanna said...

I'd say great potential. One thing I've done when I've roasted eggplant in the oven is do a little liquid smoke in olive oil and brush it with that.
I love the idea of the packets.
I'd guess a rich mushroom mix would be lovely.
More herbs.
Yeah, sun dried tomato.
It would seem the options would be endless.

Jennifer said...

I had something similar to this at a wedding party recently, and I'd been thinking I wanted to try it. There's had a healthy dollop of pesto in the center, and it was really yummy. Maybe I'll try it and let you know how it works out. They're too cute not to taste divine!

JO said...

I recently used olive tapenade to season an eggplant recipe and it sounds perfect for this. I look at lots of recipes but copy few...this is real interesting and I'm going to make it. Thanks.

s'kat said...

I don't think that you could go wrong wtih grilling or broiling the eggplant. Tapenade sprung to mind, as well as roasted red pepper spread.

Genie said...

This is gorgeous, Megan! What a great idea. We have some eggplants hanging out continuing to grow, so perhaps we'll see how those go and test out the recipe with one of those.

Thanks for stopping by to visit me, and I'm very much enjoying your blog, as well -- great recipes and delightful writing!

The Inadvertent Gardener

Megan said...

Thanks everyone for the great sounding ideas! I'm sure it will turn out better the next time around!