Melanzane - Veg Side
This Northern Italian classic is a perfect way to bundle an aubergine into a dish. Produce from Patchwork Farm, Perry Court Farm or Wild Country Organic.
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- A few splashes of olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 glass of red wine (optional)
- A splash of balsamic vinegar
- A pinch of fresh chilli or chilli powder, to taste
- Fresh thyme or rosemary leaves, chopped
- 1 aubergine, sliced into thin rounds
- ½ lemon, juice only
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3-4 handfuls grated Ranscombe (see below) cheese, or simply your favourite cheese*
- Breadcrumbs (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 200C/Gas 6.
- Add a splash of oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and bay. Cook till softened. Add tomatoes. Cook till thickened. Add wine and/or balsamic vinegar. Let it reduce. Add a hint of chilli and thyme. Cook for a bit.
- Squeeze a little lemon over the aubergine. Season well.
- Gloss a large frying pan with olive oil. Over high heat, fry the aubergine in one layer in batches, till golden on each side. Add more oil as needed.
- Taste your sauce. Season as needed.
- In baking dishes, layer aubergine, then sauce, then cheese. Repeat till everything’s used up. Top with cheese and breadcrumbs.
- Bake 10-15 mins or till golden on top.
- Just leave the cheese out, or swap for scatterings of roughly chopped walnuts – even better.
Cheese of the week - Mootown
- Ranscombe - A delicious unpasteruised Goats’ semi-hard goats milk cheese made in the Cothi Valley, West Wales by Lyn and Richard Beard.
- This wonderful parmesan like, has a distinctly nutty flavour and is a great addition to the cheese board as well as great in cooking or simply as a flavourful grating cheese. It works particularly well with warm salads, pasta and soups as well as sliced in a hearty sandwich with roasted red pepper ribbons.
Crystal Palace Food Market http://crystalpalacefoodmarket.co.uk/