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Eggplant Bundles with Cottage Cheese-shrimp-chive Mousse

From Italian Cooking and Living, June/July 2001

These delicate bundles may look Zen-like, but the flavor is purely Italian. The generous use of fresh herbs like chives allows calorie-counting cooks to forgo extra fat when extra flavor is needed.

  • 1 1-pound eggplant, cut into 1/3"-thick coins
  • 1/2 pound cottage cheese
  • 1/2 pound shelled cooked shrimp
  • 1 bunch chives, half snipped, half whole
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Grill the eggplant coins in a single layer until soft and browned on both sides, turning once, about 5 minutes per side; remove to a platter. Cool to room temperature. Purée the cottage cheese, shrimp, snipped chives, salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth, about 45 seconds. Turn out into a bowl. Line the eggplant coins up on a counter. Divide the cottage cheese-shrimp mixture evenly along the center of the eggplant coins, top with 1 whole chive, and roll into bundles to enclose. It's fine if a little of the filling peeks through the sides. Arrange the eggplant bundles on a serving platter. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and serve within 30 minutes (or refrigerate and serve within 12 hours). Serves 6

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