OK—I had to google it, too.    It is similar to mozzarella and provolone.  I found a recipe for grilled eggplant with this cheese and had no idea what in the world it was.  Then, as I was browsing through a produce stand, I found this cheese, made locally.  I was intrigued by the shape as well. 

Cartoon-shaped cheese

(I think it looks like a fat, cartoon chicken leg.)  The taste is a bit saltier than mozzarella and it is a bit firmer than provolone.  

If you can’t find this locally, go to Lovera’s Market.  They have a plethora of all things good and all things Italian. 

I am going to try this recipe tonight.

Caprese Eggplant Bake

4 small eggplants (about 1/12 – 2 lbs. total)
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
10-12 Caciocavera slices
10-12 fresh tomato slices
Fresh ground pepper
12-18 fresh basil leaves
1 to 2 cups of fresh tomato sauce

1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1-2 cups fresh tomato sauce (See recipe at “Making Lasagna from Scratch.”

Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Sprinkle with salt on both sides and place in a colander to drain for 30 minutes. 

 Rinse eggplant and pat with paper towels to dry.  Preheat oven to 350º.   Lightly oil a 9 x 9 inch shallow baking dish.  Place one layer of sliced eggplant in bottom of pan, add tomato slices and basil leaves. Top with Caciocavera slices and repeat making layers.  Use tomatoes for your final layer.  Pour sauce over top and cover with foil.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender. Remove foil and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Turn the oven to broil and return the pan to the oven. Broil for 3 minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden brown and bubbling. Remove and let stand for 5 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6

This cheese is also known as Caciocavallo.



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