Monday, October 17, 2011

Eggplant Sliders with Haloumi


We are the couple that grows silent when football comes up. The Seahawks were in the superbowl a couple of years ago and during a conversation we had to admit we didn't even know who they were playing. We were kind of busy with our son who was just 2 at the time (and I was pregnant with our daughter). Okay, and we just don't like football, and we don't really follow professional sports.

Soccer is probably the one exception as we have a soccer obsessed son and it is, well, cool.

But we do have that professional football team (the one that went to the superbowl and played some other team), and we see signs warning us that we shall die a perilous death if we go near the UW stadium between 3 and 7 on certain saturdays, due to the college games. And irrespective of my disinterest in football, I do think about the food that goes along with it, hence these vegetarian sliders.

In my head it seems too late in the season for eggplant, due to the gray skies and rain that hung around all summer and fall (today being an amazing exception!), but my farm box is not giving in.

The last couple of weeks there has been corn! And tomatoes! And those eggplants! It is nice to have local, organic produce delivering summer to us, in direct violation of Seattle's mood, which seems to be grudgingly making up for the summer that never came by giving us a few glorious fall days. So we take it how we can get it. We grill and we make eggplant sandwiches, or sliders in this case, in honor of football soccer (Kasey Keller did an amazing set of saves last night).

Eggplant Sliders with Haloumi
Makes 6 sliders

Sliders:

6 slider buns, lightly toasted
3 T olive oil
18 thin (1/4 - 1/3 inch) slices of eggplant (preferably from an eggplant with a 2 - 3 inch diameter not a 10 inch diameter -- so they will fit on the buns without any other trimming necessary)
18 thin slices haloumi
salt and pepper
1/2 avocado, cut into 12 slices

Accompaniments:

6 T ketchup mixed with 3 tsp chili garlic sauce
6 T mayo mixed with 2 tsp minced sun-dried tomatoes

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it is shimmering (but not smoking), place the eggplant slices in the pan and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes (flipping them half way through). Remove from the pan and place the cheese in the same pan cooking until lightly brown, just a couple of minutes. Watch the cheese carefully, it cooks quickly and usually needs to be flipped over in about a minute with a total cooking time of 2 - 3 minutes depending on how hot your pan is.

Layer the eggplant and haloumi on the sliders topping with the avocado. Serve with the mayo and ketchup mixtures on the side.

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