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Eggplant, Tomato And Cheese Loaf

1 lg Eggplant
9 tb Olive oil
1 tb Balsamic vinegar
1 Galic clove, minced
Small bunch of fresh mint or basil leaves
Salt & pepper
3 lg Tomatoes, ripe
7 oz Provolone or mozzarella cheese
1 Focaccia loaf


Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4" slices. Coat the slices with olive oil and grill until browned and softened. Mix the remaining oil and vinegar together and add the garlic. Chop the mint or basil and add to the mixture. Season to taste.

Slice the tomatoes and the cheese. Cut the focaccia in half horizontally and sprinkle each cut surface with the dressing mix. Layer the eggplant, tomatoes and cheese slices on the bottom focaccia half, sprinkling with the dressing and a few of the mint or basil leaves. Repeat the layering and sprinkle with the remaining dressing. Put the top of the loaf back on and press down. Wrap tightly with cling wrap and foil and then refrigerate, weighted down with a couple of cans. Let chill for several hours. Reheat in oven to melt the cheese. Serve warm or room temperature.

Variations: Add sliced hard boiled eggs and grilled green onions. Make a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and basil. Add black olives and a few sun-dried tomatoes. Try a mixture of eggplant slices, flaked tuna, olive oil mayonnaise and chopped parsley. Add chopped black olives and capers. Add thinly slice proscuitto or ham. Or anything else that suits your fancy.


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