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Baked Eggplant, Parmesan, and Radicchio Salad

Chef Laurent Gras Recipes

Baked Eggplant, Parmesan, and Radicchio Salad

Alta Editions

The sweetness, gentle tang, and soft texture of the eggplant plays with the bitterness and crisp texture of the radicchio and the saltiness and crunchy texture of the Parmesan crackers.
— Laurent Gras

This Provence-inspired Baked Eggplant, Parmesan, and Radicchio Salad recipe is a preview from chef Laurent Gras's multiple IACP award-winning cookbook, My Provence.

4 servings   |   Prep Time: 1 hour   |   Cooking Time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients

For the Parmesan Crackers

  • 1 cup (200 g) finely grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons (40 g) all-purpose flour

For the Eggplant

  • 3 cups (800 ml) water
  • ¾ cup (150 ml) cider vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • 4 large Japanese eggplants
  • ⅔ cup (140 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • ½ cup (30 g) panko breadcrumbs

For the Radicchio Salad

  • 4 heads radicchio
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (30 g) Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil (30 g)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
  • 1 sprig tarragon, coarsely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons (20 ml) balsamic vinegar (20 g)

Method

For the Parmesan Crackers

  1. Line a tray with paper towel. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan with the flour. Place a non-stick pan over medium heat. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon (15 g) of the Parmesan mixture in an even circle the size of a teacup in the center of the pan. Let the cheese melt and brown to form a very fine, lightly golden brown crust, 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for a minute or two. Using a thin spatula, carefully remove the melted cheese disk from the pan. Transfer to the paper towel to cool completely. Repeat to produce 16 crackers, total.

For the Eggplant

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). In a medium saucepan, combine the water and vinegar with a generous pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Peel the eggplants, cut them into 1 ½-inch (3 cm) chunks, and place them immediately into the boiling water. Invert a small plate into the pot to keep the eggplant submerged. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the eggplant is fully cooked. Remove the plate and carefully remove the chunks of eggplants with a slotted spoon. Set them on a paper towel to drain. Cover a wire rack with aluminum foil and grease the foil with about a tablespoon (15 ml) of the olive oil. Place the eggplant on the foil, drizzle a few more tablespoons (50 ml) of the olive oil over the flesh, and season with sea salt. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Cook the eggplant in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the eggplant over and let cook another 15 minutes until they are ever so slightly browned and a nice outer shell forms. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Place them on a plate, season with freshly ground white pepper, and more fresh thyme.
  2. In a non-stick pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the panko, season with salt, and let toast, stirring frequently, until evenly brown. Transfer to a paper towel. Just before serving, sprinkle the eggplant with the toasted panko.

For the Radicchio Salad

  1. Cut the bottom of the radicchio to separate the leaves. Split the largest leaves in half. Wash and spin dry. In a mixing bowl, combine the mustard with a pinch of salt. Slowly beat in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Mix in the water to thin the dressing down so that it will lightly coat the leaves of the radicchio. Stir in the tarragon. Add the radicchio leaves to the bowl and move them around to evenly coat with the dressing. Season with black pepper and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over top.

To Assemble the Dish

Arrange the eggplant vertically on four individual serving plates. Layer the radicchio and the Parmesan wafers on top of the eggplant.


Get this recipe and over 40 other delicious Provence-inspired dishes in Laurent Gras: My Provence, the award-winning online cookbook from renowned chef Laurent Gras, for $9.99.
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