This delicious Mediterranean salad looks wonderful if served in small cups as starter or as appetizer. Servings depend on the size of the cups.
- 1 lb eggplant (about 1 long eggplant)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1 teaspoon vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 ounces feta cheese, fresh or 2 ounces ricotta cheese or 2 ounces goat cheese
- 2 -3 teaspoons basil pesto, fresh
Topping and decoration
- 4 -8 ounces tomatoes, fresh and cut in small pieces (cherry tomatoes or San Marzano would be the best)
- 1 -2 ounce feta cheese (optiona) or 1 -2 ounce camembert cheese, cut in small pieces (optiona)
- fresh thyme, springs (or other herbs) (optional)
- Prick eggplant, place them in a baking pan and bake at 350F in the oven for about one hour or until soft (or broil the eggplant for about 15 mintues turning several times, check if soft).
- Allow skin to shrivel and turn black so as to give a smoky flavor to the salad.
- Peel eggplant while still hot and chop flesh into pieces. Drain if necessary over a colander.
- Blend eggplant with garlic, oil, lemon or vinegar, salt and pepper together until smooth.
- With the fork work together cheese and pesto until combined.
- Spoon eggplant cream in cups (as smaller as prettier).
- Place tomato pieces over the cream.
- Spoon a smaller amount of cheese-pesto over tomatoes.
- Top with a small piece of feta or Camembert cheese and decorate with herbs.
Delectable. I served it as a dip with crackers rather than as a side salad, which worked really well. So very, very tasty and healthy too. Will certainly make again. Made for Reunion Game of Tag. November 2011.