Wednesday, 27 May 2020

preparing aubergine deliciously!

I seem to know a lot of people who don't like eggplant/aubergine/melanzane (your choice of word!) but I have always enjoyed this vegetable as a real treat. I have several specific recipes where it is the key ingredient - my recipe for Imam Bayildi is here - and I always try Melanzane alla Parmigiana when given the opportunity in a restaurant (like in Rome or an Italian restaurant in Barelona...) to see if my version is authentic (it is). But aubergines are fabulous also when they are simply prepared and fried or grilled and eaten with some crusty bread, olive oil, and some cheese. The first time I went to Rome, every morning for breakfast I enjoyed an omelette, sundried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese & a slice of melanzane all jammed and heated deliciously in a panini. As you might expect, this kept me fortified for intensive site-seeing for 5 days in this magnificent city!

To prepare the aubergines, top and tail, and then slice lenthways as if slicing a loaf of bread (I always prepare 2 at the same time). Place in layers in a collander, salting each layer before adding another layer. Leave to drain for at least 5 minutes.

Rinse well, and then pat dry, gently on a clean dish towel.

Put some flower on a plate and coat the aubergine on both sides.

Add coated aubergines to a hot, oiled pan. They will cook fairly quickly, which is obvious as they start to brown. They can be eaten hot or cold, or used as the basis for Melanzane alla Parmigiana (put in layers with a simple tomato sauce and cheeses - a method similar to a lasagne but there is no pasta in the dish). I think these would be lovely grilled on the bbq too, and must try this over the al fresco season!

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