BAKED EGGPLANT

BAKED EGGPLANT
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Ingredients

Sauce:

56 oz. whole peeled Italian tomatoes with basil
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 dried bay leaves
3 fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Eggplant:

2 medium eggplants (about 2 ½ lbs.), cut into 12, 1-inch slices
1/2 Cup olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
8 oz. Shredded Chihuahua® Quesadilla Cheese from V&V SUPREMO®
3 Tbsp. Grated Sierra® Cotija Cheese from V&V Supremo®

Garnish:

6 medium fresh basil leaves
4 oz. Sierra® Cotija Cheese from V&V Supremo®, for shaving
Olive oil, for drizzling

Method of Preparation

  1. TO MAKE THE SAUCE: Place tomatoes in blender. Blend to coarse texture.
  2. Preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add oil and heat for 1 minute. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add red pepper flakes and stir. Cook for 10 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaves, basil, salt, sugar and black pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the sauce reduces to half, stirring occasionally.
  3. TO MAKE 1 ORDER: Brush 4 slices of eggplant with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill eggplant over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side, or until tender with visible grill marks.
  4. Spread ¼ cup of the sauce onto the bottom of a sizzle platter. Place 1 slice of grilled eggplant onto the plate. Top with 1 Tbsp. of sauce, and 1 oz. of Shredded Chihuahua® Cheese. Repeat with another slice of eggplant, 1Tbsp. of sauce, 1Tbsp. of Shredded Chihuahua® Cheese, and ½ Tbsp. of Grated Sierra® Brand Cotija Cheese.
  5. Place under a salamander and broil for 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted and Sierra® Brand Cotija Cheese is lightly brown.
  6. Serve eggplant with sauce. Garnish each portion with 1 basil leaf, shaved Sierra® Brand Cotija Cheese from V&V Supremo® and a drizzle of olive oil.
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