I like to think that most of my recipes are pretty simple, but some of my family and friends tend to disagree. If you are one of them, you might not believe what you see below. You might have to scroll back and forth and read it over again to figure out if you missed something.
I assure you: you did not miss anything.
Three is also the number of things that inspired me grill eggplant slices and layer them with brie cheese and fig preserves. One, the leftover hunk of brie I had from the brie & mango puff pastry bites I made for Ilyse’s shower. Two, the tiny jar of local fig-ginger preserves I bought last summer at farmers market. I uncovered it when rummaging through my cabinets for who-knows-what. And lastly, that pretty young girl in Provence.
It might sound like an odd combination, but trust the French, they know their food. And if you don’t trust the French, trust me instead – smokey grilled eggplant, delicate bubbling cheese, and just-sweet-enough fig jam make an somewhat unexpected but deliciously different combination. Especially when paired with bright peppery farmers-market-fresh arugula on the plate. (That is of course optional and I didn’t list it in the ingredients, since that would make for one too many.) And if you still find this a little too complicated because you can’t find fig jam, I think apricot would make a lovely substitution.
Eggplant Stacks with Fig & Melted Brie
1 medium eggplant, sliced about 1/4-1/2″ thick
5-6 ounces thinly sliced brie cheese
2-3 tablespoons fig preserves
Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant slices with salt and let sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
Preheat grill. Spray both sides of the eggplant with olive oil cooking spray, and cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes per side, until lightly browned and beginning to char. Remove from grill and raise heat to high.
In a ceramic baking dish, create two stacks of eggplant slices layered with brie cheese and dabs of fig preserves. Place the baking dish on the grill, close it, and cook for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
Alternatively, prepare the entire dish in the oven by first roasting the eggplant slices and then using it to finish cooking the meal.