Number of Servings: 8
v 1 large eggplant
v 2 Tablespoons olive oil for roasting eggplant and garlic
v 12 Cloves garlic for eggplant mixture, crust, sauce
v 1 Teaspoon dried thyme
v 1 Cup canned tomotoes
v 1/4 Teaspoon each, salt and pepper
v 48 Ounces cream cheese, room temperature
v 4 eggs
v 1/2 Cup pinenuts
v 1 Cup homemade breadcrumbs
v 2 Tablespoons butter
v 1 Cup heavy cream
v 1/4 Cup grated parmesean
v salt and pepper to taste
v 1/4 Cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
1. Oil and bake the eggplant and garlic cloves until soft, about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
2. Using a large spoon, scoop out the pulp and puree in a food processor along with 1/4 of the eggplant skin, 10 cloves of the roasted garlic, thyme, tomotoes, salt and pepper. Empty processor and set mixture aside.
3. Pulse the cream cheese in the food processor, adding eggs one at a time, until smooth. Add the eggplant mixture and whip until blended. Note: this is a restaraunt size appetizer and you may need to divide this step in half, making 50% at a time, then combining in a large bowl.
4. For the Crust: Toast the pinenuts. Crush pinenuts, breadcrumbs, one roasted garlic clove, and softened butter in a food prossesor, to make a graham cracker like crust. Press into a 10" springfoam pan.
5. Add the eggplant/cream cheese mixture to the springfoam pan. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees, turning the pan around 180 degrees half way through the baking process.
6. For the Cream Sauce: Reduce the heavy cream by half. Whisk in the parmesean cheese, salt and pepper to taste. You may also puree the last remaining garlic clove along with a little of the heavy cream, if you like and include in the sauce before whisking. Garnish with some ribbons of fresh basil leaves.