Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I feel like.... Italian tonight.

I felt like something Mediterranean tonight and but wasn't sure exactly what, so I went for a wander around my greengrocer on the way home from work for some inspiration. It wasn't long before I found it in the form of some beautiful, firm and glossy black eggplant. I couldn't resist it and so it is the centerpiece for tonight's dinner. Eggplant is an incredibly versatile vegetable and is used extensively in Mediterranean cooking - I used medium sized eggplant for this dish. Many recipes get you to salt and drain the eggplant first - I don't usually do this, unless the eggplant is very large or a bit old.

At the greengrocer, I also picked up some asparagus, prosciutto and mozzerella to add to the mix and did a little side dish of prosciutto wrapped asparagus - simply cooked quickly in a pan with a touch of olive oil and some freshly ground pepper. I drizzled some fruity olive on it to serve. Easy.

The eggplant dish I came up with is very simple to put together, but has a lot of flavour and looks quite pretty I think. You could serve this as a vegetarian main course or starter - I would use a smaller sized eggplant if I was doing it as a starter. You could also put prosciutto into the layers, or even crumble a little fetta into them for a richer taste.

So, here is tonight's offering - It serves two as a main course.

Parmagiania de Melanzane (Eggplant Parmigiana Stack)

You will need: 1 medium eggplant, 1 small Mozzerella cheese, 1 cup tomato based Nepolitana sauce (I used my own home made one, which has capers and anchovies, but use whatever you fancy. Even a good quality bought one would be fine if you are pressed for time) 1 tablespoon fresh continental parsley (you could use fresh basil if you prefer) Salt & Pepper, Olive oil.

Method: Cut the eggplant into slices around 1cm thick. You will need 3 slices for each person. Do the same with the Mozzerella. Heat a frypan with a little olive oil, season and cook the eggplant for about 1 minute each side, until slightly browned. It does not have to be cooked right through.

Place the eggplant in a single layer on a baking tray, top each piece with a spoonful of the Nepolitana sauce and then a slice of mozzerella. Bake for around 10 mins in a moderate oven.

To serve, stack three slices on top of each other and finish with some chopped parsley.


1 comment:

  1. Nice,,,love italian! Have you tried Jamies olivers book from his journey through Italy? Amazing!