Eggplant with Basil, Gorgonzola and Balsamic Vinegar

Eggplant with Basil, Gorgonzola and Balsamic Vinegar can be served as a side dish with meat or a pasta entree. Alternatively, these eggplant bites can be served as an appetizer.

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Eggplant with Basil, Gorgonzola and Balsamic Vinegar
(Mark Kelly)

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

2 medium eggplants, trimmed and sliced 1/4-inch-thick
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz. gorgonzola
20 fresh basil leaves
Balsamic vinegar

In a large plastic container with a lid, sprinkle the bottom of the container with salt. Place a layer of eggplant over the salt. Sprinkle the top of the layer with salt and add another layer. Repeat until all eggplant pieces are in the container. Sprinkle the top layer with salt before closing the container. Allow to stand at room temperature for at least an hour. Draining the accumulated water about every half hour.

Remove the eggplant slices from the container and place on a paper-towel-lined rimmed baking sheet. Cover with paper towel and allow to stand at room temperature for another 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Rinse the salt from the eggplant, squeezing the excess moisture from the eggplant. Place the eggplant on a fresh layer of paper towel.

Place the eggplant slices on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Place a basil leaf on each slice. Top each slice with some gorgonzola. Drizzle each slice lightly with good olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and season with pepper before serving.

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