Eggplant and shrimp is a combination I had never tried before, but I did try thanks to Marina of Le Ricette di Baccos and it was wonderful! The eggplant is first turned into what the French call caviar d’aubergines (i.e. eggplant puree), which is then turned into a dumpling with ricotta and aromatic herbs. This elegant appetizer was based upon Marina’s idea, but I made some changes in how I made the dumplings. These eggplant dumplings (gnocchetti) are a bit of work to make, but the wonderful eggplant flavor makes it worth the effort.
9 jumbo shrimp
100 grams ricotta
2 tsp minced oregano leaves
2 tsp minced mint leaves
2 tsp minced thyme leaves + more for garnish
2 Tbsp freshly grated parmigiano
3 Tbsp flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine
Roast the eggplants at 200ºC/400ºF until completely tender, about 1 hour.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt.
Meanwhile, peel the shrimp.
Reduce the heat such that the boiling water will just be simmering. If it boils too vigorously, the dumplings will fall apart. Make a quenelle with two tablespoons (this is a French words that means make a roundish shape that fits right between the two spoons) and lower it into the simmering water. Repeat until you have used up all of the eggplant batter.
Marina suggested a pinot grigio, and that was indeed a good choice. It has to be full-bodied pinot grigio such as from Alto Adige. A lot of bad watery pinot grigio is produced in Veneto (but of course there are exceptions).
This strawberry cake is amazingly yummy and a good way to celebrate the summer while it lasts.