I've always liked presenting food in transparent glasses. This works particularly well when you are serving food with different textures and colors, and makes you want to dig in instantly! I made these a little while ago for my family during a vacation in the South of France, and they were pretty easy to put together for a crowd. I like these types of appetizers because they are so versatile. You can change the herbs or the cured ham depending on what you've got on hand.
Recipe, adapted from the Jose Marechal's book Verrines. (makes eight)
2 large eggplants
1/4 cup of plain yogurt
1 garlic clove
A handful of chopped chives
1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice
Salt and pepper
8 thin slices of coppa
400 grams of ricotta
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a aluminum-lined cookie sheet in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the eggplant in soft. Scoop out the flesh and place it in the bowl of a mixer. Add the garlic, half of the chives, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Mix in the yogurt. Place in the fridge to cool.
Mix the ricotta with the lemon juice and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil
Cut each slice of coppa into small pieces.
Assemble the appetizer by placing a couple spoonfuls of eggplant puree, topped with a spoonful of ricotta, a few pieces of coppa. Garnish with the chopped chives and serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!