Pan-Roasted Eggplant & Pepper with Mint Yogurt Dressing in a Puff-Pastry Shell
Here's a little something different for you- and except for the "naughtiness" of that puff pastry, it is very light to eat and full of spicy and refreshing flavor too!
Of course you can buy your own pre-made puff-pastry shells and of course I did not make my own puff-pastry either- but apart from being fun and so easy to do, this gives you the best of both worlds... and the chance to make your pastry to measure and fit your serving dishes- haha!
The great benefit of making this dish in this way, is that you get the full flavor of the tangy pan-roasted pepper and eggplant and the refreshing cold yogurt sauce in one. You couldn't bake this combination in the oven and apart from that, you couldn't get such a crispy and flaky result in any other way. No, no, this is quite a terrific thing! End of story!
Oh, wait! It isn't the end of the story... in fact... it is only the beginning!
To make this one single serving I needed 4 mini eggplants, 1 red pepper, 1 Spring onion, some fresh mint, fresh yogurt, a little honey, olive oil and some delicious, Spanish smoked paprika powder. And of course puff-pastry- in this case, 2 approximately 5" x 7" rectangles.
You couldn't have got the great, roasted flavor of the pepper and eggplant had it been baked in the pastry- and that's what makes this so delicious... and doesn't it just look terrific!?!
Cut yourself 2 identically sized pieces of puff-pastry and carefully cut out the center of one of them to form both the base of your pastry shell and also the lid.
Pop the pastry lid into a pre-heated oven at 200°C, to puff-up and bake for 5-10 minutes whilst you assemble the bottom part of the pastry case.
Place the piece of pastry with the cut-out on top of whole piece and press them together, just around the inner edge, using a fork. Now prick the center of the pastry case with a fork and also bake for around 10 minutes until it puffs up and becomes golden brown.
Should the middle part of the pastry decide to rise up after all, just press it back down with a wooden spoon- no drama! The sides will still remain fluffy and delicious- it will all be ok!
There they both are- golden brown and ready for filling! What fun to make too!
For the filling, the eggplant, peppers and Spring onion simply need to be thinly sliced... nothing difficult about that!
Starting with the eggplant and pepper, fry with just a very little olive oil and when things begin to go brown, add a half teaspoon of smoked paprika and the Spring onion. Let them sizzle for a little while and then get ready to have fun assembling your roasted veggies in a basket!
Carefully spoon plenty of your filling into the pastry then step back and take a look- damn that looks good!
The dressing was simply a mix of finely chopped mint and yogurt, seasoned with honey, salt and pepper and made smooth and delicious by adding a light drizzle of olive oil... yum!
Spoon the mint/yogurt dressing over the eggplant and pepper combi- don't be shy- make sure to add plenty of it!
Now you see why it was that I decided to make this lovely Summer dish in this way- refreshingly easy and cool!
The great thing about this dish, is that the yogurt and mint sauce blend into the toasted vegetables, turning everything into a smooth, flavorful blend- which of course is a good thing... a very, very good thing!
Doesn't that just look divine?