Baked Eggplant Medallions
Updated: Mar 31, 2020
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
1 med. eggplant
1/2 fresh meaty tomato (Roma works well)
1/2 small white onion
Handful of spinach
About 3 tbsp tomato paste (I like the extra concentrated kind in a tube but any will do)
1/3 cup goats cheese (this is an estimate…you do you)
1 tbsp jarred, minced garlic
Oil for drizzling (I used safflower, or olive will do just fine)
Spice it up! Salt, pepper, oregano, basil, chili flakes (add to taste, I always go heavy in this department)
Preheat your oven to 375F (or, if you're on a boat like us, put your tiny oven at its highest setting and hope it’s about that temp…that’s what I do, lots of guessing here)
While the oven is preheating, slice your eggplant into 1/4” rounds, lay on a sheet pan and drizzle with oil. Place in the oven and bake until the edges of the eggplant start to wrinkle and flesh begins to darken: about 10 minutes (flip them half way through). Avoid cooking your eggplant too long as you will be putting it back into the oven with all the toppings and you'll want to avoid it getting mushy. Like I mentioned above, I use safflower oil for drizzling. It really comes down to preference as there is no wrong way to do it. We happen to have safflower oil on the boat and it has many benefits like it being a source of essential fats related to hormone regulation and memory while also being low in saturated fats and having a neutral flavor.
Time to cut your veggies! As your eggplant is cooking, prep your veg by thinly - and I mean THINLY - slicing your onion and tomato. The best part about this recipe is that it’s quick and easy. If you cut your veggies too thick, your cook time increases which in turn increases the chance of your eggplant going soggy or having raw veggies and so on.
It’s been roughly ten minutes: eggplant is looking good and your veggies are cut. Time to take the eggplant out of the oven and start assembling. Divide the tomato paste up evenly between the eggplant slices and spread. Repeat this step with the minced garlic. This is your chance to add all the yummy seasonings, including some freshly chopped basil if you have it. I like to season the tomato paste base now so that it is evenly distributed and my precious spices don't collect or fall off later on.
Now that the base is ready to go, top each slice with tomato, onion, spinach and dollops of goats cheese. Place those pretty little stacks back in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the onion has gone soft. If you're looking to be a little extra, turn your broiler on for the last 3 minutes or so, watching them carefully so as they do not burn but get a nice little crisp on top.
Serve ‘em up and enjoy! We paired this with a bit of toasted baguette and a cool cucumber salad but it would be just as tasty over a bed of greens or as a side dish with fish or chicken.