Eggplant Cakes with a Pesto Sauce to Start the Evening
At the end of last summer, Anne and Véronique (Vero) Challier invited a few of us for an apéro-dinatoire. They prepared several delicious dishes for the evening, but these Eggplant Cakes in a Tomato Pesto Sauce were my favourite. You can serve this recipe as an appetizer, the first course for a dinner party or even at lunchtime with a green salad.
The twin sisters are the talented faces behind culinary services company Un air de famille. Anne is the chef having completed her formal training at a hospitality school (culinary arts, hotel services) in Avignon before working at a restaurant near St Remy de Provence. Vero is the wine pairing and service expert.
Un air de famille provides a range of culinary services in Provence. Whether you need a chef-at-home (chef à domicile), catering (traiteur), would like to participate in a cooking class or join a market tour and wine tasting these ladies can satisfy your requests. Each experience is bespoke you work with Anne to finalize the menu (see menu samples below) and then just enjoy the meal as Vero takes care of your group.
Eggplant Cakes with a Pesto Sauce
To Make the Savoury Cake:
- 1 kg (2.2lbs) Eggplant (Aubergine) washed and cut in cubes
- 1 medium Onion chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves crushed
- 4-6 tbsp olive oil
- 3 Eggs
- 100 g (3.5 oz) Wheat Flour
- 250 ml (1 cup) Liquid Cream (full fat)
- Parsley chopped
For the Pesto Sauce:
- 1 cup Pine nuts roasted
- 1 cup (or more) Fresh Basil washed, stems removed
- 1-2 Garlic Cloves crushed
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F). In a skillet, cook the eggplants (in cubes) and onion in olive oil.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
- Add parsley and garlic.
- When the eggplants are tender, put in a blender and mix to smooth consistency.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add the cream. Mix well.
- Add the flour and the cooked eggplant.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Grease small pots or one large baking dish.
- Bake for 30 minutes (check to see if it's done with a knife).
- Serve with a homemade tomato or pesto sauce (recipe below).
- Optional: You can also add one small mozzarella ball.
To Make the Pesto:
- Put all the ingredients together in a small mixer and blend until smooth. Serve with the Eggplant cake, tossed with pasta or on a sandwich instead of mustard.
See Anne in “action” cooking live on Midi en France at the St Remy de Provence market.
Sample Cooking Class Menus:
Enjoy a cooking class in Provence and a wonderful meal. We combine fun cooking, gathering in a cheerful atmosphere, great wine tasting. Join us, to share an unforgettable moment in Provence
Menu 1 Provençal:
Starter: Provençal Carpaccio: tomatoes, melon, arugula salad, mozzarella, speck, pesto sauce and tapenade (click here for the recipe)
Main course: Pork filet cooked in honey sauce with creamy polenta
Dessert: Hot chocolate cake and crème anglaise
Menu 2 Beef :
Starter: Provençal burger (bread, tomatoes confit, onions confit, goat cheese, bacon)
Main course: Beef filet, mustard sauce and potatoes, garlic and parsley
Dessert: Raspberry tiramisu
Menu 3 Fish:
Starter: Pissaladière (onion, olives and achieves tart) and salad
Main course: Aioli (various vegetables, fish and aioli sauce)
Dessert: Brousse cheese with honey, pine nuts and roasted fruits