This recipe is inspired by my neighbor’s description of an appetizer she had at a restaurant called Libby’s (in Sarasota, Florida) and my imagination.
3 medium eggplants, peeled and cubed (I used one purple and two white, but I don’t think it really matters)
1 medium head cauliflower
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (I used raw cheddar)
1 cup gluten free Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
remaining roasted eggplant
remaining roasted cauliflower
5 carrots, sliced
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell peppers, diced
4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
Slice the eggplant, then cut each slice into quarters. Cut cauliflower into medium pieces.
Place the eggplant, cauliflower and carrots onto the baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast in the preheated oven until softened and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with lemon juice.
While that is roasting, pan roast pine nuts. Stir occasionally about 5 minutes. Set aside
The eggplant cauliflower and carrots should be tender. Put 3/4 of eggplant and 3/4 of cauliflower into food processor to mash. Set carrots aside for ratatouille.
In a large bowl, combine mashed eggplant/cauliflower with remaining cubed eggplant. Combine cheese, bread crumbs, eggs, parsley, onion, garlic and salt. Mix well. Stir in toasted pine nuts.
Shape the eggplant mixture into patties.
Patties can be frozen before frying and cooked later.
Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the peppers and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, and remaining eggplant and cauliflower and thyme to the pan and continue to cook for a final 5 minutes.
Stir well to blend.
Plate eggplant cakes and top with ratatouille. Serve hot.