Roasted Eggplant and Scallop Pie Provencal
Toasted bread slices are topped with eggplant rounds and a mound of ratatouille-like filling. Scallops are used to “shingle” the tops of the pies, and are then covered with bread crumbs and roasted. Todd English uses large wood-burning ovens to toast the eggplant pieces and bread for this dish to pick up the smoky flavor of the oven. If you wish to add this flavor without the benefit of a wood-burning brick oven, set up a charcoal smoker and smoke the eggplant and bread slices for 2 to 3 minutes in addition to the cooking procedures outlined below.
- Eggplant Filling
- Eggplants - two, 3 to 4-inch diameter
- Olive Oil - 3 cups
- Zucchini - 2, cut into small dice
- Yellow Squash - 2, cut into small dice
- Red Onion - 1, cut into small dice
- Garlic Cloves - 2, chopped
- Plum Tomatoes - one, 12-ounce can, roughly chopped; reserve juice
- Dry white wine - 1/4 cup
- Fresh basil - 1/2 cup, chopped
- Fresh Rosemary - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Flat-leaf Parsley - 1 bunch, stemmed and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bread Crumbs - 1 cup
- Country-Style Bread - 4 slices
- Virgin olive oil - 1 tablespoon
- Potato Aioli
- Idaho potatoes - 1 large, peeled and cut into large pieces
- Garlic Cloves - 3, roasted
- Lemon Juice - 1/4 cup
- Balsamic Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Water - 1/2 to 1 cup
- Cayenne Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon, or to taste
- Salt to taste
- Egg Yolk - 1, optional
- Virgin olive oil - 2 cups
- Jumbo Sea Scallops - 2 pounds, rinsed, muscle removed
- Virgin olive oil - 2 tablespoons
- Basil oil (see Basics) - 1/2 cup
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1 tablespoon
- Virgin olive oil - 2 tablespoons
- Mixed Baby Salad Greens - 2 cups
- Pearl Red Onions - 01/2 pound, peeled and cooked until tender
Slice one of the eggplants into four 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Cut the other eggplant into small dice. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and let stand 30 minutes to remove any bitterness. Rinse and drain again. Pat dry with paper towels.
In a large saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1-1/2 cups of the olive oil and add the diced eggplant. Saute on both sides until the edges begin to brown. Remove from pan and place on a baking sheet to cool. Repeat with the zucchini, then the yellow squash. Add 1/2 cup of the remaining olive oil to the saute pan and saute the onions and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and half of the reserved juice, wine, and basil. Reduce the heat to medium, add the basil and rosemary, and cook 5 minutes. Set aside in a bowl to cool. Wipe the pan dry with a paper towel. When all ingredients have cooled, mix the chopped vegetables together with half of the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Add 1/2 cup of the remaining olive oil to the saute pan and saute the eggplant rounds 3 to 5 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Remove from pan, place on paper towels to drain, and let cool.
Heat the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil in the saute pan or skillet and add the bread crumbs and one fourth of the remaining chopped parsley. Let toast 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to keep from burning. Remove from heat.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush the bread slices with a little olive oil. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until browned. Remove; leave the oven on.
To make the aioli: Put the potato in a small saucepan of salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potato pieces are soft, 7 to 10 minutes, depending on size. Drain. Press the cooked potato through a ricer or sieve. Put the potato in a food processor and add the roasted garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, 1/2 cup of the water, cayenne, salt, and egg yolk if using. Pulse while adding olive oil to blend into a thick creamy texture; add additional water if needed to obtain pouring consistency.
To finish: Slice each scallop crosswise on the bias into three thin rounds. Place the toasted bread slices on a baking sheet. Place an eggplant round on each. Spoon equal amounts of the eggplant filling on top of each of the slices. “Shingle” the top of each with scallop slices. Drizzle a little olive oil over each. Sprinkle a generous amount of toasted bread crumbs on top of the scallops. Place in the heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the scallops have contracted slightly and the bread crumbs are toasty brown.
To serve: Place an eggplant and scallop pie in the center of each plate. Drizzle the plate around the pie with basil oil. Combine the vinegar and olive oil and toss with the greens. Divide the greens among the plates. Garnish with pearl onions and the remaining chopped parsley.