Eggplant and Pepper Tian on Fried Eggplant

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4 cups small dice eggplant, lightly salted to release excess water and bitterness
2 cups peeled and brunoised* red pepper
2 cups peeled and brunoised* yellow pepper
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons chiffonaded** basil
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly picked thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fried Eggplant
1 Japanese eggplant
salt, to purge the eggplant
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Place 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan and add garlic cloves cook until golden. Blot the salted eggplant with paper towels to dry slightly. Add the eggplant. Cook until tender, season with fresh thyme, salt, and pepper. Drain and remove garlic.

In 2 separate sauté pans add the remaining extra virgin olive oil and gently sauté the red and yellow peppers until tender. Season with salt, pepper, and basil chiffonade. Drain. Form the tians by placing a layer of eggplant in a ring mold and packing it down gently. Next, add a layer of red peppers, then eggplant, finishing up with yellow peppers. Pack everything down gently. Warm when ready to serve and place on a piece of fried eggplant.

Fried Eggplant:

Slice the neck of a Japanese eggplant thin on an electric slicer. It should be the thickness of a potato chip. Lay the slices out flat and sprinkle with salt and let stand for three hours.

Preheat a fryer to 300 degrees F.

Blot eggplant slices dry with paper towels. Dip the slices in buttermilk, then in seasoned flour, and fry until crisp. Drain.

A mixture of vegetables that have been finely diced or shredded, then cooked slowly in butter. The brunoise is then used to flavor soups and sauces.

[shihf-uh-NAHD, shihf-uh-NAYD]
Literally translated, this French phrase means "made of rags." Culinarily, it refers to thin strips or shreds of vegetables (classically, sorrel and lettuce), either lightly sautéed or used raw to garnish soups.

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