With the sun low and a slight breeze cooling the warm air, summer evenings are ripe for a picnic. We like to hitch the dogs, grab a well worn blanket, load a basket of tidbits and head out to: our garden, the beach, a park, a concert, or sometimes just the porch. A favorite tidbit, this time of year are these.
fresh basil leaves
soft goat cheese
2 cloves garlic-peeled and smashed
1/2 cup olive oil
salt & pepper
Place the olive oil smashed garlic in a small saucepan and heat to warm. this process is to simply infuse the garlic flavor into the oil. Set aside and allow to infuse for an hour. Remove the garlic and store extra oil in the refrigerator. Slice the eggplant into slices no thicker than 1/4″. Layer slices between paper towels and let dry out for several hours or overnight. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. In batches, place the eggplant in the skillet. do not use oil, you will be dry frying. Turn when soft and brown and brown the second side. Remove from heat and place on plate and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, take a slice of eggplant and brush the top with the garlic oil to coat, but not saturate. Place a piece of roasted pepper across the middle, add a generous dollop of goat cheese. Give a quick sprinkle of salt and pepper, and top with a basil leaf. Roll overlapping the eggplant ends and place closure side down. brush a bit more olive oil over the top. Serve cold or room temperature.