Inspiration for this recipe came from one of my favorite cookbooks, Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. After recently having such a positive reaction to the combination of figs + Walnut Burger, this seemed a fun way to reinvent a baked eggplant dish.
1 large eggplant
2 cloves of garlic
fresh mozzarella, sliced
2 or 3 fresh figs, quartered
1/2 leek, thinly sliced
3-4 cherry tomatoes, halved
extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon agave
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Walnut Burger patty, thawed
1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Halve the eggplant and score it diagonally; be careful not to cut the skin. Then, sprinkle the garlic over the 2 eggplant halves and brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt. Put the eggplant on a baking tray, scored side up, and bake for 30 minutes.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and toss in cherry tomatoes and leeks, cooking for 3-5 minutes, until the tomato skins begin to blister. Set aside in a bowl. Add the vinegar and agave to the skillet, and return to medium heat. Bring it to a slight boil and reduce vinegar to create a thickened syrup.
In another saucepan, crumble the Walnut Burger patty into the pan and brown on medium heat, until crumbles caramelize a bit; set aside.
When the eggplant is done baking, place mozzarella slices over the top, with the leeks, tomatoes and fresh figs. Return the eggplant to the 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven when cheese is melted & slightly bubbly.
Finish by adding the Walnut Burger crumbles to the eggplant, drizzling on the balsamic reduction, topping with fresh mint, and sprinkling a little more salt. Yum!