It's the end of summer, so eggplants and blackberries are still barely hanging around. But it's the start of fall, so it's time for sauces and hot dishes again.
Here's our recent favorite summer/fall meal. The seeds of the eggplant will not puree, so they resemble caviar in this dish. It has a certain interesting elegance. We think you'll like it too.
1 large eggplant
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 apples (we like Granny Smiths for the tartness)
½ yellow onion, fine-chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin
2 teaspoons fine-chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh ricotta
2 tablespoons fine-chopped fresh chives
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
12 ounces pork loin
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the eggplant in half. Toss the eggplant with enough olive oil to coat it. Season it with salt and pepper.
Peel the apples and core them.
Put the eggplant and apples into a roasting pan and slide them into the oven. Roast until the eggplant is soft but without color, about 15 to 20 minutes. The skin should be easy to peel.
Take it out. Let it cool to slightly warmer than room temperature.
Peel the skin off the eggplant with a paring knife. Cut it into 3 pieces each.
Sauté the onions and garlic, until they are soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the fresh thyme and cook until the fragrance releases in the room, about 1 minute.
Put the onion mixture into the food processor with the eggplant. Whirl it up. Add the olive while it spins.
Put the eggplant mixture back into a bowl. Fold the Parmesan and ricotta. Chives. Season. Set aside.
Season the pork medallions on both sides with salt and pepper.
Set a large sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add the oil to the hot pan. Cook the pork medallions until they are firm, about 3 minutes per side.
Deglaze the pan with chicken stock. Cook on medium-high heat until the sauce has reduced in volume by ½. Add the butter and the blackberries.
Make a little napoleon, stacking the pork medallions with the eggplant caviar. Drizzle some sauce over the plate.