Melanzane Parmigiana (not traditional)

*Serves 4, and made in a 23 x 15cm casserole dish


Ingredients:

  • 350g eggplant

  • Olive oil for sauté

  • 170g red onion brunoised (roughly one red onion)

  • 5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped and made into a paste)

  • 100ml-150ml dry white wine

  • 800g fresh ripe tomatoes roughly chopped (can be replaced by tinned)

  • 230g Mild Peppadew chutney (can buy from Woolies if you are from SA) *if you can't get a hold of this replace with 1/2 tin of crushed tomatoes and add two tablespoons sugar.

  • 10ml dried oregano

  • 45ml full fat plain Greek yoghurt

  • 45 ml (three tablespoons) salted butter

  • 3 crushed garlic cloves

  • Mature cheddar grated- the amount is your choice

  • Basil leaves to garnish

  • Salt and pepper to taste


 

Method:


1. Thinly slice your eggplant and cover liberally with salt on both sides.

2. In a container layer your very salted egg plant, cover with paper towel and weigh down with a heaviest objects you can find (I used a six pack of beers). Leave in this manner for an hour to draw out all of the bitter eater that eggplants hold.

3. While your eggplants are on the go, begin with your red sauce. In a medium sized pot pour in a splash of olive oil and sauté 5 clove garlic paste and onions.

4. Once onions are translucent, deglaze the pot with your white wine and wait for it to dilute slightly.

5. Now add in your tomatoes, oregano, and peppadew chutney. Mix slightly and leave on a low heat to reduce until a sauce texture has been formed. This can take more than an hour. The longer your sauce cooks out, the more flavorful it becomes. But remember LOW heat.

6. Stir your sauce every 20 minutes just to ensure that the bottom does not burn.

7. Once your red sauce has formed the thickness of your desire, switch off the heat and add you yoghurt. The tanginess of the yoghurt helps to counteract the saltiness of the sauce and also gives it a beautifully rich texture. Set your sauce aside.

8. Your eggplant should be ready at this stage, so rinse all the salt off and dry as best as you can.

9. In a sauce pan, take your 45 ml of butter and three garlic cloves and melt on a medium heat.

10. Once melted, shallow fry your eggplants on both sides. If you need to add more butter, do so.

11. Drain on paper towel after shallow frying.

12. Now for assembling: spray and cook your casserole dish. your first layer will be the fried egg plan, then a layer of red sauce, then cheese. Repeat one more layer.

13. Put in a pre-heated oven of 200C to melt cheese.

14. Garnish with basil leaves to finish.

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