Eggplant Bruschetta

I’m always looking at new ways to use eggplants. This bruschetta is reminiscent of an eggplant parmesan in white sauce. The cream cheese white sauce adds just the right amount of richness and the bread is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

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1 to 2 Chinese eggplants
1/2 cup 35% cream
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

Ingredients – Dough
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Additional oil for greasing tray

Prepare the bruschetta dough by mixing the yeast, sugar and water. Allow to rest for 10 minutes to activate (the yeast will foam up). In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt and create a well in the center. Add the oil and activated yeast. Mix together and turn over onto a floured surface to knead for 5 minutes. The dough should feel light and elastic. Place the dough into a bowl greased with oil. Cover and let it rest for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, prepare the cream cheese topping. Mix together the cream cheese and whipping cream and bring to a boil over low heat. Continue to stir until the sauce is slightly thickened. Turn off the heat and set aside until you are ready to assemble the bruschetta.

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Prepare the baking tray by greasing with oil. Spread the dough onto the baking tray. Spread the cheese sauce over the dough and sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese on top. Slice the eggplants into thin rounds (as thin as possible so they will cook) and place them on the cheese. Drizzle oil over the eggplant rounds and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan. Sprinkle with the chopped basil.

Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. If the Parmesan starts to brown too much, cover with silver foil and continue to cook.

Makes one 17” x 12” tray. Serves 6 to 8.

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