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Eggplant and Tomato Ratatouille

Created by Chef Bradford Thompson of Manhattan's Lever House

Prep Time: 2 hours
Time to Table: 3 hours, 15 minutes

3          cloves garlic, divided
1          medium eggplant (about 1 1/4 lb.)
1/2       teaspoon salt, divided
1/4       teaspoon pepper, divided
2          tablespoons olive oil, divided
1          medium fennel bulb
3          medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 2 cups total)
4          sprigs fresh basil leaves
42        small fresh basil leaves or fennel leaves (optional)
21        cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (optional)  
42        Carr's® Rosemary Crackers

1. Cut one of the garlic cloves into quarters. Very thinly slice remaining two garlic cloves. Set aside.

2. Lengthwise cut eggplant into halves. Use sharp knife to cut 1-inch-deep diagonal cuts on flat sides of eggplant halves. Insert quartered garlic clove into cuts. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. In 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan place eggplant halves, cut sides up. Bake at 300°F for 30 minutes. Turn eggplant. Bake at 300°F about 1 hour or until eggplant is soft.

3. Meanwhile, core and very thinly slice fennel bulb (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). In medium saucepan cook fennel in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat about 10 minutes or until softened. Stir in sliced garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat about 3 minutes or until garlic is fragrant. Stir in tomato. Remove from heat.

4. When eggplant is cool enough to handle. Scoop out and coarsely chop pulp of eggplant. Stir into mixture in saucepan. Add 4 sprigs basil. Cook, covered, over low heat for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid. Continue cooking, uncovered, over low heat about 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

5. Let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes. Remove basil sprigs. Stir in remaining salt and remaining pepper. To serve, spoon about 2 teaspoons of the eggplant mixture on each cracker. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and tomato halves, if desired.

Yield: 1 3/4 cups eggplant mixture; 14 servings

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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