A few days ago, we had some friends over for dinner and I was wracking my brain about what to make as an appetiser, that would be healthy, not too heavy and relatively easy to make in advance. My priority when having people over for dinner or at home is that we can enjoy each other’s company, as well as the food. Therefore, I want to be able to have things ready in advance, so they don’t have to entertain themselves while I’m cooking.
Anyway, this little appetiser checked all the right boxes. Milhojas in Spanish literally means “thousand leaves”; however, all it just means in culinary terms is a layered dish.
Milhojas de Berenjenas con Tomate Confitado
(Layered Aubergine with Tomato Confit)
Ingredients, for 4
- 1 large aubergine, cut into 2cm slices
- 4-5 medium tomatoes, fresh and peeled
- 8 slices of goat cheese (two for each appetiser), plus some extra for garnish (Feta cheese also works well)
1 tablespoon sugar2 teaspoons honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- a bunch of parsley, minced
- olive oil
- thyme or Herbes de Provence
- pinch of coarse sea salt
Wash and cut the aubergines into 2cm slices. You can either use them peeled or unpeeled. I preferred mine unpeeled, as they hold their shape better. Prepare a flat surface or various plates with paper towels, and place the slices on the surface. Sprinkle with sea salt and let sit for about an hour, so the aubergines release their water.
Peel and cut the tomatoes into 2cm slices. Place in a frying pan with some olive oil (enough to cover bottom). Sprinkle over the tomato slices some more olive oil,
sugar, honey, a sprinkle of thyme or Herbes de Provence and salt. At low heat, cook until the liquid evaporates, turning the slices over frequently, so both sides cook evenly.
In a frying pan, pour enough olive oil to cover the bottom and place the aubergine slices, so none overlap. You may need to do this in two pans or in two steps. Cover and cook at medium heat for about 20 minutes, turning the slices a couple of times. When the aubergines are tender, drain them of oil, and place back in frying pan. Sprinkle with the garlic and parsley and a pinch of sea salt. At high heat, sauté. (You can also “precook” the aubergine in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning over once, at 150C; then sauté them in olive oil, cooking both sides evenly.)
On a serving plate or individual plates, create the milhojas, by placing a slice of aubergine first, then the tomatoes, and then goat cheese. Repeat, finalising with some crumbled goat cheese on top.
If you make them in advance as I did, you can place each in the microwave for about 30 seconds to heat up.