1 cup Mediterranean
1.5 oz finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
.5 oz finely chopped shallot
1/2 roma tomato, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 - 2 lbs eggplant
1 1/2 tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp MARTINI & ROSSI®
2 tsp white wine
1 oz parmesan cheese
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
Editor's note: A salamander, mainly found in commercial kitchens, cooks, heats, glazes or broils food using overhead radiant heat. At home, you can gratinate the dish in the broiler on its lowest setting (be sure to use broiler-safe dishware) or carefully crisp the top by hand using a kitchen (creme brulee-type) torch.
1. Boil the couscous to al dente with little bit of olive oil and salt -- do not overcook.
2. Heat the olive oil, add onion, garlic saute for some time. Deglaze with white wine and half of the vermouth; be sure to reduce vermouth thoroughly to alleviate its bitterness. Then add chopped tomato and eggplant. Carry on until the egg plants are cooked through.
3. Add couscous and mix well, then finish with heavy cream.
4. Season to taste with chopped oregano and basil (and lemon juice if desired).
5. Use a small bowl to mound mixture on the center of a plate.
6. Soak Belgian endive leaves in a light sugar syrup (see recipe for Cucumber Martini for information on making simple syrup). Insert leaves in the mixture, encircling it. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on the top of the mixture.
7. Gratinate the entire dish under a salamander.
8. For the garnish, reduce the balsamic vinegar with the remaining vermouth until it reaches desired consistency.
9. Drizzle reduction on top of blossom and serve with more fresh basil as garnish.