Monday, February 13, 2012

Eggplant Napoleon


Meatless Mondays come around all too fast.  But today's MM recipe should put a smile on your face.  This lasagna-like dish uses puff pastry instead of pasta to make it elegant enough for a romantic Valentine dinner.  It's not as complicated as it looks and the best part is that it can be assembled ahead of time and popped into the oven just before serving.
Eggplant Napoleon

1 9 by 9-inch sheet puff pastry, thawed

Caramelized Onions:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Eggplant:
1 medium eggplants (about 1 to 1-1/4 pounds each ), peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Cheese Mixture:
2 cups ricotta
1 cup marscapone cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste

1/2 cup sun dried tomato pesto (store bought or follow the link to recipe)

Cut puff pastry into 3 3x9-inch pieces.  Place on baking sheet and bake according to package directions.  Cool, then gently split each piece in half lengthwise so you have 6 3x9-inch pieces.  Set aside.
While the pastry is baking start caramelizing the onions.  In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add onion and salt and cook over medium low heat for about 20 minutes or until onion is very tender and golden, stirring often.
While the onions are cooking, prep the eggplant.  Brush eggplant slices with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange slices on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes until just tender.
Combine cheeses; set aside.

Assembly:
Arrange 3 bottom halves of puff pastry on a baking sheet.  Top each piece with a layer of eggplant slices, spread with a thin layer of pesto, then a thin layer of cheese mixture, then some of the caramelized onion, ending with another layer of eggplant brushed with the pesto.  Repeat the layer.

Bake at 350 degrees until hot and cheese is melted.

You can assemble the napoleons up to the point just before baking and keep refrigerated until ready to bake.  You may need to add about 5 minutes to the cook time if they are very cold.

Make individual Napoleons for a dinner buffet or first course.  Simply cut puff pastry into 9 individual 3x3 inch squares and then layer as above.





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