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    As a starter : Eggplant with fresh cheese

    Eggplant verrine with fresh cheese and preserved lemon Lightly spiced tomato gazpacho
     
    Ingredients for 12 servings :

     
      Eggplant caviar :
    • 8 eggplants
    • garlic, fresh thyme, minced 
    • 100 g sundried tomatoes 
    • 1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
    • 50 g pine nuts, 
    • 50 g small capers, chopped 
    • 1 bunch of basil, finely scissored
    • 250 g fresh goat cheese
     
    Tomato gazpacho
    • 1.5 kg tomatoes
    • 500 g tomato concentrate
    • 100 g ketchup
    • 75 cl Xeres vinegar
    • Tabasco sauce
      
     Fresh cheese with herbs
    • 500 g fresh cheese – goat’s or ewe’s milk
    • 1 bunch of parsley
    • 1 bunch of fresh tarragon
     

     Pesto
    • 1 bunch of fresh basil
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • Olive oil
      
    500 g Mixed young greens
     
    Preparation 
    For the eggplant caviar:
    • Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, score the flesh side, season with salt and pepper. Cook in a 180 °C oven with the minced garlic and thyme for 30 minutes. 
    • After cooking, remove the soft flesh, mince it and leave it to drain. Add the chopped tomatoes, the basil, lemon, pine nuts, capers and cheese.  Mix and season with salt and pepper. 


    For the fresh cheese:
    • Blend the fresh cheese with the chopped herbs and season with salt and pepper and olive oil. 


    For the pesto:
    • Blanch the basil leaves, plunge them into ice water, drain. Blend with the crushed garlic and olive oil. Set aside.


    For the gazpacho:
    Skin the tomatoes, cut them in half and remove the seeds. Blend the tomatoes with the tomato concentrate, the ketchup and the Xeres vinegar. Pass through a fine conical strainer and season with a bit of Tabasco sauce.
     
    Layer in a glass the eggplant caviar on the bottom, then the fresh cheese, topped with the tomato gazpacho. Add a dash of pesto as a final touch. 
     
    Serve with a slice of golden toasted country bread and the mixed greens seasoned with an olive oil vinaigrette.