The architecture of an Eggplant

As a child I wanted to be a firewoman, a race driver, a baker, a mechanic, a special agent, a tennis player... than at some point I wanted to be a teacher, which stuck, even if there has been a few detours from the original plan.
I don't remember that I ever wanted to be an architect, though I had a summer job in an architecture office. Making this recipe, I think I took the right decision, there is enough with one Pisa tower in the world.

This is a reminiscence of my summer holidays, because I've done a first version while being in the south of France. The idea fetched from a magazine, but with all the ingredients I found on a local market.
Sometimes, making a recipe from your holidays again at home is a bit dissapointing, it never tastes quite the same, or it's just the surroundings that are missing, that makes the difference. But in this case, I enjoyed it just as much, maybe watching the olympics in the background helped a little.

I really loved this dish, the cooked eggplant, the hot goat cheese, the raw tomato, fresh basil and parsley, a touch of garlic... It all works for me! I believe changing the goat cheese to mozzarella could be a nice option too, for people who prefer less strong tasting cheese. And the assembling can start, have fun with it!

Eggplant Mille-feuilles

Serves 1

1 Eggplant
1 Fresh Goat Cheese
1 Tomato, sliced
1 Shallot
2 Cloves of Garlic
3 Tablespoons of Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons of Fresh Basil, chopped
2 Tablespoons of Bread Crumbs
Coarse Salt
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Wash the eggplant and cut 4 slices of about 1 cm thick, lined them in a oiled oven tray and cook them for 30 minutes, turn them around half way thru.

Dice the rest of your eggplant into small cubes. Dice the shallot, in a saucepan, heat up some olive oil and add the shallot with a bit of salt and cook for a few minutes before adding the diced eggplant. Keep stiring and maybe, add a bit more olive oil if it sticks, cook for about 10 minutes, at the very end, add the crushed garlic, the chopped parlsey and the bread crumbs, stir for a minute or two and set aside.

When cooked, take the eggplants slices out and set them aside. Slice the goat cheese in 3 parts and using the same oven tray, place the cheese in the oven for a couple of minutes.
Now starts the assembling: place a slice of cooked eggplant, place some goat cheese on top, and a tablespoon of the diced eggplant, now add a slice of the tomato and spinkle it with fresh basil. Do the same layers 2 more times and finish with a slice of eggplant with some basil.

If you have some diced eggplant left you can dress the plate with them. To finish, sprinkle some coarse salt, good olive oil and and a bit of balsamic vinegar. Now, serve it before it falls like a jenga tower!

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