Baked Eggplant and Potato Parcels with Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella

This makes a fantastic meal for one.  I adapted this from a recipe I saw on the wonderful “Cook and the Chef” program.   I love a dish that is nicely contained in one parcel, and the flavours are amazing.  You can omit the potato if you wish and cut out one step of the preparation, but have extra bread on hand for the juices. You need a very hot oven, and make sure the eggplant is not sliced too thick or it won’t cook through.

1 small – medium sized eggplant

4 bocconcini balls, or one large buffalo mozzarella ball

1 potato

handful of basil leaves

8-10 cherry tomatoes

extra virgin olive oil

salt & pepper

4 small garlic cloves, peeled and squashed just a bit

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

Peel the potato and cut into small cubes, about 2 cm.  Put into a pot of water, bring to the boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain.

Have a sheet of foil ready that has been drizzled with a little olive oil and scatter the potato, basil leaves and garlic cloves over it. Slice the eggplant in 1 cm rows, but not all the way through – ie, garlic bread fashion – and place the eggplant on top of the potato.  Tear up the cheese and poke in between the eggplant rows. Squeeze the cherry tomatoes so the seeds and juice squirt over the eggplant, tear them in two and poke some in with the cheese and scatter some around the top and sides.  Drizzle some olive oil over the top and in between the rows.  Season with salt & pepper.  Seal up the foil as tight as you can, place in a baking dish and cook for 20 minutes.  If you use a bigger eggplant, you might need a bit more cooking time.  It should be quite soft.

Serve with some crusty bread and a salad.

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