Eggplant is part of the nightshade family and originates from South America.
There are a few varieties around, besides the original oval type. There is the Japanese variety which is sausage-like and elongated, or the pink or white types.
There are not a lot of nutrients in eggplants, but they can be introduced into the dish.
Everyone knows how well they grow in Rarotonga and everyone should grow some.
They grow quick and are quite rewarding. You cook, salt and marinade them like antipasto dishes and they will keep for weeks.
This dish costs about a dollar per person and is quite amazing as an appetiser or starter … or just as a snack in-between meals. You can put it into your sandwich, like Italians do. Suitable for any diet.
Fried aubergine, aubergine caviar, fresh garlic, lemon, EVO and tomato
Serves 4 people
4 large aubergines
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and pasted with salt
1 tomato, rouch-chopped into concassé
1L olive oil for frying
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large slice of lemon
Bunch of basil leaves, for garnish
Sea salt and pepper to season, to taste
1. Slice 2 Aubergines into ½ cm thickness lengthwise, dry on paper towel.
2. Fry in hot olive oil until slightly crisp, and set aside on new paper towels.
3. Meanwhile, make the aubergine caviar by taking a half eggplant and fire roasting on open flame, until soft and aromatic. Cool a little,
4. Peel off the burnt bits and place flesh into a bowl.
5. Add the lemon juice, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil to the roasted aubergine flesh. Combine and mix until incorporated. Season to taste.
1. Refry the eggplant slices and dry again on paper towels.
2. Layer the eggplant slices with the eggplant caviar. Lightly garnish with the basil and tomato concassé, drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper over the top and serve.
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