When you think of sliders, I’m sure you think tasty morsels of meat between two tiny buns (unless you think of White Castle first, then leave out the “tasty” part). Think of this as the no-bun, meatless alternative!
In this version, herbed goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes are sandwiched between slices of oven-roasted eggplant and topped with pine nuts. If I had some fresh basil on hand, I would have thrown that in too! This is such a simple concept, really, that you can do about anything with it. Grilled or roasted eggplant with ripe tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella would be a terrific summer meal. Roasted red bell pepper strips instead of tomato would also be a delicious addition. Maybe sprinkle with a little balsamic vinegar…mmm…
Just thinking about it has worked up my appetite! How about you, hungry yet?
- 2 medium-sized eggplants
- extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 ounce log of goat cheese with herbs, at room temperature (or plain goat cheese – add your own herbs)
- julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes
- fresh basil leaves (optional)
- pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 400F.
I like to peel strips of the eggplant off so it appears striped – that’s up to you! Slice the eggplants cross-wise into ~3/4 inch rounds. Prepare a baking sheet with oiled parchment paper or light non-stick coating. Place the eggplant rounds on the baking sheets; brush with EVOO. (Eggplant really soaks up the oil, so don’t get too heavy-handed!) Lightly season with salt and pepper and place in the oven. Cook for 6-7 minutes, then remove from the oven, turn over the slices, brush oil on the top side, and return to the oven. Continue to do this until the eggplant is tender and browned on each side (20-25 minutes or so). Remove from oven.
Pick one of the larger eggplant slices and spread on some goat cheese. Add some sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil, then place a slightly smaller eggplant slice on top. Sprinkle with a few pinenuts. Repeat for the remaining slices. If you have a “loner”, put some toppings on it and eat it up…no one will know!
Place back in oven to reheat for a few minutes, if serving warm. Can also be served at room temperature.
Ain’t those the cutest things? Now, I still hold a fondness for Krystals, or White Castles, but these little devils are tasty, and certainly far more healthy than slivers of meat between white bread buns!
Another treasure from our recent trip west, the debut album from Lyle Lovett. This guy has such an easy way with a song, wry lyrics (check out our new house favorite God Will) and it all started here. After this, try “And his large band”, or actually, any will do! Don’t get much better than a Texas songwriter!