I go through food spells.
Generally, I love eggplant but after overdosing on eggplant (and tofu) in China I was ready to part ways for a little while. Sorry eggplant – it’s not me, it’s you. Well it’s been over a month now and I’m ready to welcome eggplant back into my life again, if he’ll have me.
In China it was eggplant almost every day – he was a clingy boyfriend and I had to cut him loose. In Vietnam I don’t know if we had any eggplant the whole month we were there. Now that I’m in Thailand, I’m not so sure there will be too much eggplant here either. The other night I ordered a green curry dish (amazing by the way) and it had an eggplant-like vegetable but it wasn’t the eggplant I fell in love with.
Further investigation will be needed to pinpoint what exactly this eggplant impostor was. Don’t worry, I’ll get to the bottom of it though.
Don’t get me wrong, the food in Thailand has been beyond amazing (and terrifyingly spicy at times, though I don’t let this deter me) but sometimes you just want a familiar favorite.
For me, it’s this baked eggplant dish. I can’t take credit for this recipe though – it’s my grandmother’s and we first started making this together 10 years ago. She would work with the eggplant and sour cream/mayo mix, I’d slice the cheese, tomatoes and grate the garlic and dinner would be ready in a flash.
Now if you’re a mayo-phobe (as I know many are) just use sour cream or add a dollop of Greek yogurt instead, but I urge you to go the mayo route.
This recipe requires a bit of prep work as the eggplant needs to be baked first on one side, then flipped over and only then do you add the rest of the toppings but it’s worth it in the end. Just make two trays worth and you’ll be enjoying leftovers the next day.
I’ve got my parents coming to visit in less than a week (eeek- it’s been almost 4 months since I’ve seen them) and if there’s any eggplant to be found in the Thai islands I’ll be making this dish for sure.
We just got our visas approved yesterday and booked our airfare to Burma so the country I’ve been dreaming about for the last year is becoming a reality! Perhaps there will be lots of eggplant dishes in Burma?
A simple eggplant appetizer that is truly a dream
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (can substitute sour cream or Greek yogurt)
- 1-2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
- salt, pepper to taste
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees C. Spray an aluminum foil lined baked sheet with cooking spray and place eggplant in single layer. Bake 10-15 minutes, remove from oven and flip over.
- In a small bowl combine sour cream, mayo, garlic salt and pepper.
- Place tomato slice on each eggplant slice, top with a dollop of sour cream mix and a piece of cheese.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.