Appetizers/Starters, Savory Snacks

Goat Cheese, Grilled Aubergine and Ramp Chimichurri Crostini

The other day, I made this Ramp Chimichurri which is out of this world, and I mentioned that you can use it on a bunch of things besides just steak. Here is one of those things. The chimichurri moved this from “hey, I have a bunch of random ingredients that I need to use up before they go off” to “wow, this is one heck of a snack in just under 30 minutes of work (and would be much less except that you should salt the eggplant for a bit, lest they get soggy). Cheeky little snack in the middle of my Thursday.

1 Confetti Eggplant (Aubergine) or other narrow-type eggplant
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 baguette
olive oil
1 small “log” Goat Cheese (Chevre)
6-8 tablespoons Ramp Chimichurri (recipe here)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Slice the eggplant on the bias, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Salt on both sides with coarse salt and lay on paper towels for 15-20 minutes. This will draw out some of the moisture and make the eggplant less spongy.

In the meantime, slice the baguette on the bias, also approximately 1/2 thick. Brush each round with a little bit of olive oil (both sides). Using a grill pan over medium heat (or a panini press or a grill*), toast the baguette pieces until they are crisp and have some nice grill marks. Set aside on a pan that can go under a broiler.

After 20 minutes or so, dab the eggplant rounds with additional paper towels, removing any excess water and a little bit of the salt. Brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil and using the same grill pan, panini press or grill as the baguette, grill the eggplants until soft and also have some nice grill marks. Set aside, on paper towels.

Cut the goat cheese log into rounds, approximately 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. This might be hard to do with a knife; I usually use plain (non flavored) dental floss to do this.

To Assemble: place an eggplant round on top of each piece of baguette and then top with a goat cheese round. Run under a very hot (500F+) degree broiler for just a few minutes, until the cheese melts and becomes a little brown. Remove to serving plates or a platter and drizzle with a significant amount of the ramp chimichurri. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.

*Note that all of the things that you will be grilling are fairly small, so be very careful is using an actual grill that they do not fall through the slats.

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