Yet another divine use for eggplant – such a versatile vegetable. This time it is a cheesy torte – eggplants layered, Italian style, with cheeses, baked, allowed to rest and firm up, then cut into wedges to serve. What could be better? It makes a great lunch or supper, or works very well in a tapas spread, mezze or antipasto. It even makes a great any-time snack.
Eggplant is so flexible, and very variation tastes so good. You can bake it, simmer it, stuff it, crumb it, steam it, BBQ it, grill it, roast it, saute it and deep fry it. I hope you try some of these recipes.
Cheese and Eggplant Torte | Cheesy Eggplant Layers
serves 5 – 6 as antipasto
6 medium eggplant, peeled
250 ml olive oil
4 Tblspn freshly grated parmesan cheese
200g mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or grated
Heat the oven to 180C.
Cut the eggplant slices lengthwise, just over 0.5 cm thick. Salt lightly and leave for 30 mins in a colander to drain. Pat dry with kitchen paper towels and then fry in medium-hot oil until golden until golden. Drain really well on paper towels.
Put one layer of eggplants in a oven-proof dish, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and then layer with mozzarella. Repeat the layers until all of the ingredients are used, ending with a parmesan layer
Dot the top with the butter and bake for approx 15-20 mins in the oven, until heated through and the top is golden and bubbling. It may take longer, depending on your oven.
Allow to rest for 30 mins before serving – as it cools, it firms up and is easier to cut. It can be served warm but is delicious at room temperature. Cut into wedges and serve – it is great with a salad, or as part of a mezze /antipasto plate. I adore it with a green salad for lunch.
recipe notes and alternatives
The pie can be served at room temperature or warm. It also reheats well.
The Parmesan gives a delightfully umami flavour to the torte. However, other cheeses can be used in place of the Parmesan. Feta, Pecorino, Goat’s cheese, Ricotta, Bocconcini, even Cottage cheese can be used instead of the parmesan. You can end with a cheese layer if it is a melty cheese, or an eggplant layer otherwise.
The flavour of the torte will improve with time. It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Cook extra eggplant slices, because they are more-ish and you will want to snack on them.