SERVES 4 – 6
This unusual dish was inspired by a recipe created by famed French chef Roger Vergé for his book, Roger Vergé's Vegetables in the French Style (Artisan, 1994).
3 medium eggplants
5 tbsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. butter
1⁄2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp. ground cardamom
3 drops Tabasco
3⁄4 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 roasted red pepper, peeled and chopped
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Trim and halve eggplants lengthwise. Sprinkle with 4 tbsp. of the olive oil and bake 20–30 minutes. Cool.
2. Cook onions and garlic in remaining 1 tbsp. oil over medium heat until tender. Scrape flesh out of eggplants and coarsely chop. Transfer to a strainer to drain bitter juices. Cut skin into long strips 1" wide.
3. Butter an 8" springform pan. Line bottom and sides with skin strips, shiny side down. Sprinkle bread crumbs into pan and shake it well so that entire interior surface is well coated.
4. Beat together eggs, cardamom, Tabasco, and cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in eggplant, onions, garlic, and red pepper. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30–35 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 15 minutes, then unmold onto a serving platter. Cool for 1 hour. Serve with tomato coulis, or chopped fresh tomatoes dressed with olive oil and salt.