While mille-feuille is typically a sweet layered dessert, for the recent Italian focus on Love My Salad we prepared a spectacular, savoury eggplant "mille-feuille" with mozzarella, using grilled eggplant, cooked al dente, accompanied by tasty mozzarella that I think pairs perfectly.
A light, simple dressing with a little crunch from lightly roasted hazelnuts makes this dish a visually impressive 'festival of flavours'. If you prefer another type of nut pistachio is a good alternative to hazelnuts.
- Heat a little oil on the grill and, while it heats, arrange the mozzarella on absorbent paper to soak up any moisture.
- Wash the eggplant, remove the tip, and cut into slices about 1/2 cm thick. Cook over medium heat, then season with salt and pepper.
- While the eggplant cooks, cut the mozzarella into thin slices, then peel and crush the garlic. Chop the hazelnuts as well.
- Once the eggplant is cooked to your liking, remove from heat and place on absorbent paper. Set aside.
- Prepare the dressing by mixing together in a bowl the garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Arrange the 'mille-feuille' by alternating eggplant slices and mozzarella slices. Lightly dress each layer.
- Finally, sprinkle with a little dried basil and top with roasted hazelnuts.
Tips from the author
- Eggplant is a vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways: grilled, fried, stuffed, roasted, etc. However, unlike zucchini, it is not suitable for consumption raw or boiled. It is a very nutritious and low-calorie food, containing potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, among other nutrients.
- It is not advisable to overcook the eggplant. Cook through, but not enough to be too soft and falling apart. Also, I did not find it necessary to salt the eggplant to remove bitterness. It is not usually needed any longer, especially when the eggplant is very fresh and smooth.
- I estimated about one eggplant for 2 people, but obviously the amount you require may vary according to taste.