I am so excited to tell you all about this dish. It was fun to make and a first for me because I typically lean more towards full-bodied meals rather than dainty little sides but as soon as I saw the inspiration (the cutest little baby eggplants) for my Eggplant Napoleon I was fired up to give it a whirl.
Layers of juicy garlic roasted eggplant are sandwiched with roasted zucchini and onions in between plump sheets of puff pastry, I basil and a spicy red pepper sauce. The flavors are earthy and filling and FRESH! This is a simple dish and you can find all the vegetables right now in season at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. It is healthy, packed with flavor and screams gourmet (although it really takes no time or effort at all). Perfect for a light brunch, lunch or even cut out as miniature appetizers- My Fierce Eggplant Napoleon with puff pastry and red pepper cream is utterly delicious. I beg you to try and talk at the dinner table while eating this dish. No words, just bites!
Why puff patry? We are carb eating addicts in this house and if I am too pull off a meatless dish for the hubs then I better have some type of bread to back it up. A crunch, a common ground so to speak. Slices of everyday bread would not hold up to the juiciness of the vegetables nor would it look very appealing so I thought the next best thing to chewy bread is flaky sheets of dough!
This Eggplant Napoleon is a little different than most recipes you might find out there. Typically there is a layer of cheese and hefty spoonful of some type of tomato sauce accompanying this dish but I wanted to go a little lighter so I mixed things up a bit. The theme around my kitchen is I like to do things “my” way so I took the idea of a basic Napoleon and dressed it up with flavors and ingredients that I love to use- eggplant, basil, red peppers and onions. The flavors are enough to make you go crazy, take your bra off and run around in the streets- Insane! (took that line from my mom’s book!)
- 4 baby eggplants or 1 large eggplant thinly sliced vertically
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 red or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- *Optional: 1 zucchini, sliced
- 2 sheets of puff pastry
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 3 tsp minced roasted red pepper (in a can)
- 1½ tsp salt and pepper each
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp Spanish thyme
- 1-2 tsp Devo Olive Oil
- ⅓ cup fresh basil (or whichever herb you like best)
- Remove tops and bottoms from the eggplants and slice vertically into very thin pieces. Thinly slice the onion (and zucchini-optional) and arrange it with the sliced eggplant and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with ½ tsp salt and pepper each and ½ tsp Spanish thyme. Roast at 400 for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, thaw out your puff pastry according to the package directions. Cut the dough into small rectangles (should have 3 long layers for sheet once rolled out- cut each long layer into 3 separate triangles) and lay each rectangle of dough flat on a baking sheet poked with holes from a fork. Bake according to the package directions then place aside to let it cool.
- To make the red pepper cream (the glue that holds it all together) mix the ricotta cheese, minced roasted red pepper strips, remaining salt, pepper and Spanish thyme, red pepper flakes and ½ cup grated (not shredded) Parmesan cheese. Mix well and refrigerate until time to assemble.
- Start with the one piece of puff pastry as the base, and then add on a layer of the red pepper cream, then eggplant, layer of basil, layer of zucchini, layer of onions and finally another sheet of puff pastry. Repeat this process once more (or twice if you prefer) ending with the puff pastry.