Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  2. 2 medium onions, chopped into 1/4-inch dice

  3. 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  4. 4 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  5. 1 teaspoon sugar

  6. 1 beautiful eggplant (about 10 ounces), sliced

  7. 1/2 inch thick into 8 slices 2 cups water

  8. 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, plus

  9. 4 leaves for garnish

  10. 1/4 cup Pesto (page 44) Four 1/4-inch-thick slices fresh mozzarella (about 2 ounces) Four 1/2-inch-thick slices rustic bread, about the same size as the eggplant slices

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Preparation : Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sugar, lower the heat, and cook for 25 minutes. While the tomatoes are cooking, season 8 eggplant slices with salt and pepper. (If you have more than 8 slices, set the remainder aside for another use or discard.) Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant slices and sear on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the water to the tomatoes and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Purée in a blender and strain through a fine sieve. Return the tomato soup to the pot, add the chopped basil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the eggplant slices with the pesto. Put a slice of mozzarella on 4 of the slices. Top with the remaining 4 eggplant slices, pesto side down, to make "sandwiches." Brush the bread with about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and place on a small baking sheet. Toast in the oven until golden brown. Top each slice with an eggplant sandwich and continue heating until the cheese begins to melt. While the sandwiches are heating, reheat the tomato broth. Place an eggplant sandwich in the bottom of each warm bowl. Pour the tomato broth around the sandwiches. Drizzle with olive oil, garnish with the basil leaves, and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings From In the Hands of a Chef by Jody Adams and Ken Rivard. Copyright 2002. All rights reserved. HarperCollins Publishers.


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