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Cooking + Entertaining

Eggplant pie: the recipe for an inviting and simple appetizer

Eggplant pie: the recipe for an inviting and simple appetizer

Il eggplant pie it’s a antipasto versatile and extremely simple to prepare, perfect for the summer when you want to recreate the flavors of a parmigiana without spending too much time in the kitchen. The ingredients are in fact the same as in the famous recipe – fried auberginestomato sauce and mozzarella – but, unlike the classic version, in this case the eggplant flan is served in doses single portionsready in minutes.

Eggplant is a versatile vegetable perfect for preparing many easy and delicious recipes: from eggplant towers to eggplant millefeuille, both quick alternatives to parmigiana, to perfect rustic dishes to be prepared at the last minute, such as a savory puff pastry pie with eggplant and smoked cheese.

To make tender and tasty eggplant pies, just arrange the previously fried eggplant slices in a mold (or grilled or baked for a lighter version), stuff them with sauce, pieces of mozzarella, parmesan and a few basil leaves and then close everything before baking a 200 ° C for 5 minutes.

Excellent both hot and at room temperature, the eggplant pie can become a tasty single dish when accompanied with basmati rice or served with strips of chicken or fried chicken nuggets. Let’s see together how to prepare it.

ingredients

Seed oil for frying)

How to prepare the baked eggplant pie

Before starting the preparation, preheat the oven to 200 ° C. Then wash the aubergines under running water and remove the ends. Cut them into fairly thin slices, about 5-8 mm thick, and put them to soak in water and salt 1 for about 20 minutes: this step will eliminate any pungent taste.

After the soaking time, drain them to remove the water and dry them on absorbent paper. Meanwhile, heat plenty of seed oil in a pan and, when it is hot, add the aubergines 2. To obtain a perfect and not greasy frying, the secret is not to put many slices together: the oil temperature would lower, thus lengthening the cooking times.

Let the aubergines fry for a few minutes, then flip them and let them cook a little longer. When they are golden brown on both sides 3 place them on a plate covered with absorbent paper to remove excess oil and keep them aside.

Now cut the mozzarella into slices 4making sure that the diameter of each slice does not exceed that of the molds in which you will compose the patties.

Grease a ceramic cocottina with a drizzle of olive oil to make sure the pie does not stick during cooking and coat it with the eggplant slices 5so that each slice goes to cover a piece of the bottom.

Arrange four slices, overlapping them slightly, until the mold is completely covered 6.

It’s time for the filling: start by putting a basil leaf on the bottom 7.

Proceed by adding a level spoonful of sauce 8.

Overlap a slice of mozzarella 9 and season it with salt and pepper. Repeat again altering the basil, sauce and mozzarella so as to have two layers of filling.

Finally finish with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan 10.

Close the aubergine slices towards the center, starting with the last one placed at the beginning 11.

Continue in the reverse order of the initial one 12in order to make sure that the flan is tightly closed and the filling does not come out during cooking.

Complete with a final sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and bake for about 5 minutes, just long enough to melt the mozzarella and mix the flavors. Once ready, decorate the eggplant flan with a basil leaf and serve 13.

Advice

Instead of tomato sauce you can use datterini or cherry tomatoes cut in half. Alternatively, you can make the eggplant pie blankwithout tomato: try it with a filling of cooked ham and provolone.

For a more intense flavor, serve the pie accompanied by a spoonful of sauce or a little basil pesto.

The pie can also be made with not fried eggplantbut cooked in the oven or grilled: the result will be a light and tasty eggplant flan.

The extra touch? Sprinkle the mold where you place the pie with oil and breadcrumbs: cooking in the oven will create a delicious crust.

Variants

Being an extremely versatile preparation, the eggplant pie lends itself to different variations: here are three to try as a tasty alternative to the basic version.

Blended eggplant pie

An excellent alternative to the classic aubergine pie is the blended eggplant pie, a real baked aubergine flan perfect as a second course. To make it, blend the aubergines previously cooked in a pan or in the oven with an egg, parmesan, salt and pepper. If necessary, add a dash of milk to soften the mixture. Once ready, pour it into oiled molds and, if you want to get a stringy heart, add a piece of cheese to the center of each pie. Then bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for about 20 minutes, or until the surface becomes slightly golden.

Eggplant and potato pie

The eggplant and potato pie is one of the best known variations, a perfect cross between a parmigiana and a moussaka, very easy to make and excellent to enjoy as a side dish. In this case, instead of a wrapper, you can make a sort of lasagna by alternating the layers of potatoes, aubergines and the filling of your choice. Use thin slices of freshly blanched potatoes and fried, grilled or baked eggplant, depending on your taste.

Eggplant and zucchini pie

Another variant that we recommend you try is the aubergine and zucchini pie, an easy-to-prepare flan made with layers of eggplant and zucchini alternated with ricotta, stracchino or the cheese you like best. To give the preparation even more flavor, you can add a cured meat such as ham or speck.

storage

Eggplant patties can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days if stored in airtight containers. Alternatively, they can be frozen for no more than a month, separating the single portions with parchment paper so that if necessary it is easier to defrost the necessary quantity.

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