Friday, 16 May 2014

Aubergine Mozzarella

For me it's no hardship to go all veggie but try convincing the men in my life - even for one meal!

This dish is one that has passed the 'what no meat test' and if served with a good crusty french stick and a green salad; it's filling and the 'rabid carnivores' never notice the lack of meat.

This is yummy

This is simple

And this was dinner last night...

I love aubergines I'm transfixed by the colour and the texture of their skin and because of that we always have some in the house - I just like looking at them!..............sorry I know I'm a bit weird!

This is one of the many recipes I have for using them - Aubergine Mozzarella
Serves 2-3

2 large Aubergines
1 large onion - very finely chopped
2 tins chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic - crushed
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
2 balls mozzarella
Handful fresh basil leaves
Shards of parmesan - shave the parmesan with a potato peeler to get your shards
Sprinkle of pine nuts
Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 180C/Gas 4

First cut your aubergines in to slices approximately1.5cm thick - I love the smell of cut aubergine so clean & fresh - I'm probably the only person in the world to have said that!

Sprinkle them with salt - on both sides - and place in a colander

Put a plate on top & weigh it down. leave for about 30 minuets. This will allow any bitter juices to be drawn out. Then rinse off and dry thoroughly.

Heat some olive oil in a non-stick pan (1-2 tablespoons) and fry the aubergines until coloured on both sides. They will suck up loads of oil whilst frying so give them a good drain on kitchen paper after.

Now make the tomato sauce.
Soften the onions in the pan with a little olive oil, add the tomatoes along with the herbs de Provence and, over a high heat, cook until all the moisture is driven off and you are left with a tomato onion paste. Mix in the garlic & season

Rip up your mozzarella and tear your basil leaves.

Get your casserole pot (the one with the well fitting lid!) and start to layer. Put a slick of sauce in the bottom and cover with a few rings of aubergine; add more sauce; followed by some mozzarella & basil leaves. Keep going until you used it all up.
Finish with a layer of mozzarella, top with parmesan and the pine nuts.

You will notice that it looks pretty dry before cooking but whilst the aubergines are in the oven they will release liquid which will mix with the mozzarella & tomato paste to make a rich thick sauce.

Cover & cook for 40-50 minuets until the top has browned and the aubergines have softened. If the lid on your pot doesn't fit that well put a layer of foil over the top before placing on the lid - that will seal it for you!

This dish also cooks well in the woodoven and on a barbecue with a lid - it's a good accompaniment with outdoor eating and provides an excellent vegetarian option for guests that shows you have made an effort for them - when usually they get a mushroom and a tomato on a skewer!

Serve with a crusty loaf &  green salad.

This is a really easy throw together recipe, although it does need some preparation time.

All ages seem to love this and as my friends son says......

                               'everything is awesome with cheese on top'

Have a great weekend the sun's gonna shine! X

Printable Recipe

 Aubergine Bake