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Paleo Eggplant Ricotta Snacks

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I was paging through the Nom Nom Paleo cookbook the other day, looking for a recipe to wow a few friends I had coming over for dinner. They often give me grief for my strict diet, so I had to choose a real crowd pleaser. The solution: Eggplant Ricotta Stacks. The twist: Use Futter's Macadamia Butter instead of grinding my own Macadamia nuts.

This recipe, complete with a balsamic reduction, and savory macadamia ricotta (There's no dairy involved!) belongs on my Paleo dish Mount Rushmore. The secret here, though, is that using our macadamia nut butter is actually LESS EXPENSIVE than grinding your own nuts. It mixes perfectly with the lemon, oil, and basil creating this beautiful, creamy creation. Just describing it makes me want more now!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons melted ghee or fat of choice
  • 2 globe eggplants (approximately 1 pound each), sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Futter's Organic Macadamia Butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Juice from 1/2 medium lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced into 1-inch rounds

Directions

  1. Make Paleo Ricotta by mixing the Futter's Organic Macadamia Butter, Salt, Lemon Juice, and Water in a medium sized bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the balsamic vinegar and shallots to a rolling boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium, and continue cooking until the liquid is syrupy and reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
  3. While the balsamic reduction is cooking, place a wire rack 6 inches from the heating element in the oven, and turn on the broiler. Coat a foil-lined baking tray with the melted ghee, and arrange the eggplant slices on top. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and flip the eggplant slices over to season the other side.
  4. Broil the eggplant rounds for 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip each slice over, rotate the tray, and broil for another 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  5. In a bowl, combine the Macadamia Nut “Ricotta,” basil, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and then stir to thoroughly incorporate.
  6. Assemble the stacks by spreading generous spoonfuls of the herbed “ricotta” and drizzles of balsamic reduction between layers of eggplant and tomato slices.
  7. Garnish with basil and a final splash of balsamic reduction before serving.