Eggplant, Plantain and Goat Cheese Napoleons
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 40 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
- One 12-ounce eggplant, peeled and sliced crosswise into twelve 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 1 very ripe sweet plantain (about 1/2 pound), unpeeled
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 4 kalamata olives, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 plum tomatoes—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins, chopped
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
- 2 cups fine fresh bread crumbs
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- 1/4 cup fresh goat cheese, softened
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the eggplant slices on a large baking sheet and sprinkle all over with salt. Let stand until the eggplant releases its water and is starting to soften, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, put the plantain in a small baking dish and pierce the skin with a fork. Bake the plantain until very soft, 40 minutes.
- In a small skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until very soft and browned, about 7 minutes. Peel the baked plantain and add it to the skillet. Using a fork, mash the plantain until smooth and incorporated with the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the mashed plantain mixture and keep warm.
- Put the pine nuts in a pie plate and bake until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Stir in the olives, tomatoes, raisins and basil. Season the tomato salsa with salt and pepper.
- Put the egg wash, bread crumbs and flour in 3 separate shallow bowls. Pat the eggplant slices dry, then dredge them in flour. Dip the slices in the egg, allowing any excess to drip off, then coat the slices in bread crumbs.
- In a large skillet, heat 1/8 inch of olive oil until shimmering. Add half of the eggplant slices and fry over moderate heat until they are golden brown outside and tender within, 3 minutes per side. Transfer the eggplant to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices.
- Arrange the fried eggplant slices on a baking sheet and reheat them in the oven. Place an eggplant slice on each of 4 plates. Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the plantain puree over each eggplant slice, followed by 1/2 tablespoon of goat cheese. Repeat to form 1 more layer, then top with the remaining slices of fried eggplant. Spoon the tomato salsa over and around the napoleons and serve.
Pour a crisp sparkling wine, like cava from Spain, with appetizers like these tangy napoleons. Look for the green applescented NV Anna de Codorníu or the lemony NV Castellroig Brut.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.