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Crispy aubergine slices with smoked mozzarella recipe


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This heavenly, Italian-inspired dish is a lovely combination of fried aubergine slices, fresh basil, smoked mozzarella cheese and a rich tomato sauce.

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 5

  • 1 large unpeeled aubergine, trimmed and sliced into 1/2cm thick slices
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or as needed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 120g seasoned breadcrumbs, or more as needed
  • 180ml extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • 675ml tomato pasta sauce or tomato passata
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 225g smoked mozzarella (scamorza), very thinly sliced
  • 40g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:40min ›Extra time:20min drying › Ready in:1hr20min

  1. Line a plate with kitchen paper; place a layer of 2 or 3 slices of aubergine onto the kitchen paper. Sprinkle aubergine with sea salt. Repeat layers of aubergine sprinkled with salt until all aubergine slices are stacked. Place 2 pieces of kitchen paper onto the stack and place a plate on top of the kitchen paper. Lay a heavy book or tins of food onto the plate to squeeze out moisture. Allow to drip for 20 minutes to 2 hours. Rinse and pat dry.
  2. Beat eggs with milk in a shallow bowl. Place breadcrumbs into a separate bowl. Dip aubergine slices in the egg mixture and gently press into the breadcrumbs to coat; set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a square baking dish.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat; fry aubergine slices in the hot oil in small batches until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on kitchen roll.
  5. Spoon about 4 tablespoons of tomato passata into the bottom of the prepared baking dish and arrange a layer of aubergine slices to cover the sauce. Scatter basil and a few slices of smoked mozzarella cheese over aubergine; repeat layers, ending with a layer of sauce on top. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until heated through and the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tip:

Let aubergine slices drain for at least 20 minutes; you can leave them for up to 2 hours. You will get a crispier aubergine slice when fried, not a soggy one.

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Purple reign: Yotam Ottolenghi’s aubergine recipes

I am feeling stupidly nostalgic this week, because it’s 10 years since I started writing my Weekend column, and next week will be my 500th in total. It began life as The New Vegetarian, and one ingredient that has been at the heart of so many of my favourite dishes, then and now, is the aubergine – in my book Plenty, my first collection of Guardian recipes, I even had one chapter called The Mighty Aubergine. (Looking back, I feel sorry for the other vegetables, whose chapters just took their name – Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Green Beans and so forth.) It seems fitting, then, that both this week’s and next week’s recipes are full of aubergines.

Over the years, I have grilled, roasted, burned, steamed, stuffed and fried them, and used them in everything from croquettes and cheesecakes to salads and soups the aubergine’s ability to reassure and surprise me knows no end. This week’s recipes are a case in point. The paneer-stuffed aubergine reminds me of an early favourite dish in which I wrapped little balls of ricotta in long, thin strips of roast aubergine, but I am also amazed at how brilliantly the very savoury combination of aubergines and anchovies works when the vegetable is roasted. In fact, I’m now getting excited just thinking about where my aubergine adventures will take me next.


The Recipe Inspiration

The eggplant Parmesans I’ve ordered over the years at restaurants have varied considerably, but I’ve grown to expect heavy, greasy, breaded eggplant served with marinara and standard-issue spaghetti. I usually walk out with a stomachache and a side of regret.

Then I ordered the eggplant Parmesan at a local restaurant here in Kansas City called Ragazza, which gave me hope for eggplant Parm. Their eggplant Parmesan comes in a cute little cast iron skillet, with layers of eggplant cut lengthwise and sliced like lasagna. It includes lightly breaded eggplant, but it isn’t overtly greasy, and the marinara sauce tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove for hours.

Regazza’s makes the owner’s mother’s recipe, and I have to order it every time I eat there. Their eggplant Parmesan inspired the eggplant lasagna in my cookbook, which includes long strips of roasted eggplant layered between the noodles and marinara. Have you had the chance to try that one? So good!


How to roast eggplant

So with that said and done, here is how to cut and roast eggplant:

cut into thick 3cm / 1.2″ slices, then cut each slice into pieces to form cubes / rectangles

drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper then toss well in a bowl using a rubber spatula

spread out on tray and bake at 240°C/ 450°F for 20 minutes, flip, then for another 10 minutes, until the eggplant is super soft and caramelised on the edges

Peeling – if you’re bothered by eggplant skin (which I am not – I don’t find it at all chewy), peel “zebra tripes” down the eggplant like this. If you don’t leave at least some skin on, then the eggplant cubes are prone to collapsing and turning into mush – you need some skin to hold it together.

Bitterness & salting – In the past, the standard preparation method for eggplant including salting the eggplant to remove bitterness. The eggplant of today has largely had the bitterness bred out of it so unless you have a very old, very large one, you shouldn’t have this problem. I never have, and I only salt eggplant for specific recipes (like Greek Moussaka).

However, if you can’t get your head around cooking eggplant without salting it, here’s how: sprinkle the cubed eggplant with 1 tsp salt, toss, leave in colander for 30 minutes. Rinse then thoroughly pat dry, toss with oil and pepper (NO SALT), roast per recipe.

Select eggplants that are firm but have a bit of give, and feel heavy for their size (light = dried out inside).


Crispy aubergine slices with smoked mozzarella recipe - Recipes

My Aubergine kiev works out to

2pp/approx.100kcal for one kiev

5pp/approx.200kcal for two kievs

You Will Need : (For 2 Kievs)

2 slices WeightWatchers White Danish Bread

(or 2 tablespoons 2 chicks egg white)

Two 10g portions low fat spread

(I used Tesco Olive Light. This is 1pp for 10g. Please check pp/kcal if you use a different brand)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.

Start by weighing 10g low fat spread per portion accurately into a small ramekin dish. If you are making more than one Aubergine Kiev, use a separate pot for each portion.

Crush the garlic into the pot.

If you like this dish really garlicky, use one clove of garlic per person. For a milder flavour, half a clove is enough.

Add herbs and black pepper. Mix together thoroughly.

Fill the hole with the mixture using a teaspoon, then push it as far into the middle of the aubergine as you can with your finger.

Pop the bread into a food processor and blitz until you have fine breadcrumbs.

Prepare 2 bowls-one for the egg white and one for the breadcrumbs.

Close up the hole in the side of the aubergine. Dip into the egg white, coating evenly.

Transfer to the breadcrumbs, coating generously.

The breadcrumbs will sit better on the flat surface of the aubergine, so use a generous amount on the top.

Transfer to a baking sheet, mist with Frylight oil and bake flat-side-up for 40-45 minutes until the aubergine is really soft and the topping is beautifully golden.

They are delicious served like this with a fresh salad. You could make some roasted butternut squash chips too.

Alternatively, serve with spaghetti and a simple tomato sauce which is equally delicious.


Grilled Aubergine Sarmie with Smoked Mozzarella

Place the aubergine rounds in a baking tray, coat with olive oil and parmesan and move around until a nice layer of parmesan evenly coats the aubergine rounds. Place the rounds into the oven and grill until each side is golden brown.

Slice the smoked mozzarella and lightly fry in a non-stick pan until golden.

Once the aubergine rounds are golden and crispy, layer the filling - sandwich style. I started with a good dollop of double thick organic greek yoghurt, a sprinkle of cumin, squashed olives and cherry tomatoes, grilled cheese and fresh greens.

For the green sauce:
Combine 2 green chillies, basil, 1 clove of garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. water, salt and pepper to taste in a blender.

Serve the grilled aubergine sandwich with lashings of the spicy green sauce.

Recipe by: Samantha Dormehl View all recipes

Food is about LOVE and magic - cooking with intention and eating with gratitude. Delicious food is nourishment for the mind, body and soul. Every meal is an opportunity to nourish those you love with healthy, beautifully prepared and cooked taste explosions. Cooking sustainably using a Wonderbag.


Perfect Grilled Eggplant

Grilled eggplant can be one of the great treats of summer—lusciously tender eggplant, with bits of crispy charred edges here and there. It works on its own, as part of a grilled vegetable platter, or even as a stand-in for a meat patty in burgers. Sadly, it is more commonly either overcooked and flavorless or undercooked and spongy. Luckily, there is a way to grill tender, flavorful eggplant.

This easy recipe uses the power of salted water (or brining) to guarantee great grilled eggplant. It's easy and adds 30 minutes to this otherwise quick recipe, but it's worth it. Every time you pop a few slices of this brilliantly flexible vegetable on a hot grill, it will come off crispy brown on the outside, creamy sweet on the inside, and full of flavor.

Feel free to embellish with spices and other flavors. Serve it with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a dollop of pesto, a spoonful of romesco, or a scattering of crumbled feta cheese and make this simple technique a recipe of your own. Grilled eggplant is also particularly yummy with a few grilled tomatoes at its side.


Crispy Eggplant “Bacon”

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant (you’ll only use half)
  • 1 Tbsp avocado or olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp tamari
  • 1 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire (I like Annie’s brand, or this one for GF!)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (plus more for topping)

Instructions

Notes

Nutrition (1 of 14 servings)

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @minimalistbaker on Instagram and hashtag it #minimalistbaker so we can see all the deliciousness!


Aubergine Parmigiana revisited – our definitive version!

We have written before about the glorious ‘Melanzane alla parmigiana’ We first came across it in Italy in the summer of 2017 when travelling through the Dolomites in Northern Italy. Taste wise it was a plant based dish that absolutely took my breath away ……….. or so my memory tells me! I went back to the article we wrote about this in early 2018 and our first attempts to recreate the dish and you can find that here (Aubergine Parmigiana). Whilst we were very pleased with this first attempts we said at the time ‘.…… the dish, it still doesn’t quite match my holiday memory of that first mouthful in the Dolomites. When it does we will post the next instalment’. Well I think we are in a position when it is worth offering that ‘next instalment’ and so here it is!

What is it? It is probably the best tasting plant based meal I have ever eaten (speaking as an obligate carnivore) – and absolute truly – you don’t miss the meat! There are umami flavours in their myriads. There is nothing missing – it is just a coincidence that there is no meat!!

The recipe we are currently using is very similar to that 2017 first try – we have been round the recipe books and the final dish is dependent on how you cook it not really the basic recipe itself! So lets talk about how we are cooking the dish.

Firstly, we have come to the conclusion that the aubergines are best cooked in a cast iron skillet with a moderate amount of good olive oil at around 180C direct. No matter how much you use, the aubergines will always accept more – so it is up to you how much you give way to their greed! With moderate portions – you can afford to be generous!! The aubergines are cut not along the fruit but across it to produce circles of around 7mm thick. (If you prefer your dish to ‘slice’ and the slices to remain as a single piece – then cut the aubergines lengthways and build each layer in alternate directions – but we have ended up favouring a less firm finish). Once cooked these were put to one side.

Once the aubergines had been cooked we used the same skillet to cook the sauce but the BGE was set up for indirect cooking by adding the platesetter. First a finely chopped onion was softened with a little oil until it just became translucent – then the 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced, were added and cooked for a few more minutes. Then 2 cans of chopped tomatoes were added (these seem to work better than fresh tomatoes – in the UK anyway) and some chopped fresh herbs.
This was left to cook at around 160-180C for 20 minutes or more until it began to look a little more dry. (You need to lose that watery ‘tinned tomato’ look).

From this point on it really becomes a matter of ‘assembly”

We have been making our Melanzane alla parmigiana in one of our Tefal Ingenio pans and it works really well – though ideally something slightly deeper would be even better! Put in the smallest amount of tomato sauce you can to cover the bottom of the pan then add a layer of the aubergine, and repeat this tomato sauce/aubergine combination until you are just less than halfway up the dish. At his stage sprinkle the tomato sauce with some parmesan cheese and add around half of the mozzarella together with some basil leaves (I have taken to sprinkling just a little parmesan on each of the tomato layers but I don’t think that is traditional!). Repeat until all the aubergines are used. Finish off with a layer of tomato sauce topped off with further basil leaves, parmesan and mozzarella (and ricotta if you are using it too – this is not traditional). Put the dish back in the BGE and cook for a further 30+ minutes then ‘turn off the BGE’ and let it cool.

This is one of those dishes that tastes great on the day – but even better the day after! We have taken to eating it on the second day, and although we could use the BGE to bring it back to temperature we have taken to doing this in a domestic oven at around 150C for around 30 minutes. At which point turning on the grill produces the most lovely crispy and glorious topping.

This is a dish best served warm rather than hot so don’t rush to serve it. All you need is to plate it up with a green salad.

We think we have now got to the essence of this dish – ours probably has just a slightly high proportion of the tomato sauce than the original one we had in the Dolomites.
It is probably also just a little more fluid in consistency. It does however contain all the essence of that first experience of that ‘Timballo di Melanzane alla Veneta’. Made in that Italian way – with lots of love! It is a real thing of beauty.


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15 Ways to use Courgette and Aubergine Mezze

Spread the Mezze on both pieces of bread. Lay the parma ham on one piece, then the spinach leaves on top, and finish with the salad tomato.
Close the sandwich, cut in half and serve.

Ingredients: 1/2 baguette, 2tbsp Early Harvest Olive Oil , 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1/2 jar Courgette Mezze, juice of 1 lemon, 4 sliced salad tomatoes, 2 slices of prosciutto per piece, 200g Mozzarella in chunks, 2 thinly sliced spring onions

Slice the baguette diagonally to give you 4-6 pieces.
Fry the Olive Oil in a medium sized frying pan with the garlic then add the baguette slices and fry until they are brown and crispy.
Spread the Mezze over the baguette slices.
Place 3 tomato slices delicately on each piece of bruschetta, then the prosciutto and Mozzarella, and sprinkle with the spring onions. Finish with a drizzle of lemon juice.

Ingredients: 200g natural or greek yoghurt, juice and zest of 1 lemon, 1 finely chopped clove of garlic, 2-3tbsp Courgette Mezze, 1tsp Paprika, salt and pepper

In a bowl, add the yoghurt, lemon zest and juice, garlic, Mezze, Paprika, and salt and pepper and mix until thoroughly combined. Taste and add any more of the ingredients as you feel is necessary.
Serve with prepared vegetables, curry, and more.

In the desired amounts, place all the ingredients except for the Olive Oil and Vinegar on a board, in a platter style.
Slice the focaccia into long thin slices.
Place the Olive Oil in a small bowl, and add the Vinegar to the centre of it, aiming to keep the outside purely oil for presentation purposes and serve.

Eggs on Toast

Ingredients: 2 eggs, 2tbsp Aubergine Mezze, 2 slices of wholemeal bread, 1tsp Paprika, salt and pepper

Poach the eggs. Meanwhile, toast the bread and once ready, spread 1tbsp of the Mezze on the toast.
Place the two eggs on the toast, and dollop the rest of the Mezze on top. Sprinkle with Paprika, and season with salt and pepper. This can also be served with a drizzle of Tahini or Olive Oil.

Ingredients: 1tbsp Courgette Mezze, 8tbsp Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1tbsp lemon juice, 1tbsp honey, 1 finely chopped clove of garlic, salt and pepper

Add all ingredients into the container desired for storage, close the lid and shake until thoroughly combined.

Ingredients: 4 sea bass fillets, 50g unsalted butter, 1/2 jar Courgette Mezze, 1tbsp lemon juice, salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas Mark 6.
Place the fish in a baking dish, making sure they are spaced out, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.
Meanwhile, mix the butter, Mezze, and lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small saucepan on a medium heat, and stir together until hot all the way through, without letting it boil.
When the fish is cooked, place on a plate and drizzle with the Mezze.
Serve with new potatoes and roasted vegetables.

Ingredients: 12 blinis, jar of Aubergine Mezze, juice of 1 lemon, 30g roughly chopped fresh dill

Spread the Mezze evenly on each blini, add a piece of smoked salmon (fold it in half and place with the crease facing upwards), drizzle a small amount of lemon juice, and top with fresh dill.

Baba Ganoush

Ingredients: 2 crushed garlic cloves, juice of 1 lemon, 2tbsp Tahini, 1 jar Aubergine Mezze, 3tbsp Early Harvest Olive Oil, salt and pepper, 1tsp Paprika

Mix the garlic, lemon juice, Tahini, Mezze, Olive Oil, and salt and pepper in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
Serve in a small dish, sprinkle with Paprika and drizzle with Olive Oil.

Ingredients: 4 chicken breasts, jar of Aubergine Mezze, 250g bacon rashers, 80g Mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/Gas Mark 6.
Take the chicken breasts, slice through the middle and spoon in the Mezze.
Wrap the bacon around the breasts, sprinkle with the Mozzarella and bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through and the bacon has browned.
Serve with sweet potato fries and asparagus.

Ingredients: 3 tbsp Early Harvest Olive Oil, 3 crushed cloves of garlic, 1 peeled and finely chopped red onion, 2 thinly sliced courgettes, 400g Carnaroli Risotto Rice, 200ml white wine, 1.5L vegetable stock, 1/2 jar of Courgette Mezze, 100g grated Parmigiano Reggiano, 100g unsalted butter

Place a large saucepan on a medium heat and cook the Olive Oil, garlic, onion and courgette until softened.
Turn up the heat and add the rice to the pan, season with salt and pepper, stirring it in until it is coated in oil.
Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated then add the stock gradually.
Add the Mezze, Parmigiano Reggiano and butter to the pan and leave to rest until the consistency thickens, then serve.

Ingredients: 250g halloumi, 250g cherry tomatoes, 2 red onions, 2 courgettes, jar of Courgette Mezze, 3tsp Paprika, 2tbsp Early Harvest Olive Oil, salt and pepper

Set up your BBQ or preheat your oven grill.
Cut the halloumi into thin slices, keep the tomatoes whole, chop the red onions into segments, and cut the courgette into 1cm slices.
Mix the Mezze, Paprika, Olive Oil and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and add the halloumi and vegetables, ensuring they get thoroughly coated.
Slide the vegetables onto skewers repeating the order of the vegetables.
Grill under the flame until charred and serve with Couscous, or baked potatoes.

Ingredients: 400g cooked Chickpeas, 1 roughly chopped red onion, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1tsp ground cumin, 1tsp ground coriander, 2tbsp Aubergine Mezze, 3tsp Paprika, 2tbsp plain flour, 3tbsp Early Harvest Olive Oil

Drain the chickpeas and leave to dry off on kitchen roll.
When ready, place in a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients (except the Olive Oil) and blend until reasonably smooth.
Leave this mixture for at least one hour but preferably over night, then form into small, round balls.
Heat the Olive Oil in a frying pan, add the falafel balls and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Mashed potato

Ingredients: 5 cubed and peeled large potatoes, 1tbsp butter, 2 crushed garlic cloves, juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 jar of Courgette Mezze, 140g Tahini , salt and pepper, 2tbsp Early Harvest Olive Oil

Boil the potatoes in water until soft, then drain them and add, along with the rest of the ingredients, to a mixing bowl and use a masher to mash.
When serving, lightly drizzle with extra Tahini.

Ingredients: 2tbsp Early Harvest Olive Oil , 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1 sliced courgette, 250g cherry tomatoes, 1/2 jar of Aubergine Mezze, 150g Pappardelle pasta , 75g Parmigiano Reggiano , 2tsp basil, salt and pepper

Place the Olive Oil in a medium frying pan on a high heat and once hot, add the garlic and fry for a few minutes, then add the courgette. Fry until the courgette has begun to brown then add the cherry tomatoes and continue until the tomatoes begin to soften. Stir in the Mezze.
Meanwhile, boil the Pappardelle according to the packet instructions. Once cooked through, add to the frying pan and stir in. Add more Mezze as is needed, then add in the Parmigiano Reggiano, and stir again.
Season with basil, salt and pepper, then serve.


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