Eggplant Amuse Bouche

Want to tickle your tongue? (Amuse Bouche) A little time consuming, but oh my so delicious! Our farm market as well as better grocery stores are full of organic eggplants in many sizes and colors right now.  My favorite are the smaller vivid purple and white ones which I used for this recipe. Our refrigerator always contains several very useful spreads and sauces which I frequently make. This recipe uses a sauce made from my cilantro pesto

The recipe calls for Aphrodite Haloumi cheese that is handmade in Cypress and is widely available in the states in stores. It is made from goat and ewe’s milk (goat and sheep’s milk has the A2 milk protein that many people can digest, even though they are sensitive to A1 cows milk protein. I imagine that a vegan substitute might be a firm tofu but have not tried it.  If you do, let me know how it goes!

The first step is to roast the sliced eggplant.  While it is roasting, you can prepare and bring to room temperature the cilantro sauce from your cilantro pesto.  Once the eggplant is roasted, the assembly and final dash under the broiler takes only minutes.  This can be an appetizer, or a significant part of a meal.

Eggplant Amuse Bouche
Serves 4 as an appetizer or part of a meal

3 six-inch organic eggplants or equivalents, sliced 1/2 inch thick crosswise
olive oil to coat bottom of large baking dish
Sea Salt
Smoked black pepper

1 package of Aphrodite Halloumi Cheese from Cyprus, sliced crosswise in c. 1/8 inch slices
Thyme leaves or oregano
Cilantro Lime Sauce (recipe below)

  1. Preheat oven to 350F or Convect/roast at 325F
  2. Coat bottom of baking pan or glass pan with olive oil and lay eggplant slices in a single layer in the oil.  Turn to coat both sides, using a brush if necessary. The eggplant can also be roasted on a parchment-lined baking tray.
  3. Sprinkle eggplant generously with sea salt and smoked pepper and roast until lightly browned on one side, c. 30 minutes. Turn over slices and roast 10 more minutes.
  4. Top each slice of eggplant with a slice of the Halloumi cheese (or tofu).  Place under a moderate temperature broiler (400 degrees) at least 6 inches from heat source and watch closely for the right amount of browning.  Halloumi does NOT melt, it is a firm cheese that browns.
  5. Remove and top each slice with a spoonful of the cilantro sauce.
  6. Sprinkle with the thyme or oregano leaves.

Cilantro Lime Sauce

1/2 C  cilantro pesto
1/4 C olive oil
2 T fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Whisk to get a fairly runny consistency. 

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