VEGIE MIGHT

PACKED WITH TASTE AND TEX­TURE, THIS RECIPE IS ONE WORTH STEAL­ING

Life & Style Weekend - - FOOD & WINE - Alas­tair Mcleod is chef-owner of Al’freshco. al­freshco.com.au WORDS: ALAS­TAIR MCLEOD STYLING & PHOTO: MI­RANDA PORTER

The say­ing that im­i­ta­tion is the sin­cer­est form of flat­tery is surely just a nice way of jus­ti­fy­ing mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of a recipe. Sure, the ad­di­tion of oli­vada and grilled zuc­chini is mine, but this dish is the cre­ation of my good friend Anna Gare. Sev­eral years ago we worked to­gether at a food fes­ti­val and she demon­strated this dome of Mediter­ranean veg­eta­bles.

ESCALIVADA PIE WITH OLI­VADA

Serves: 6 as a meal or 8 as a side

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

12 Roma toma­toes, halved length­ways

6 tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, plus ad­di­tional for brush­ing

3 tsp su­gar, plus an ex­tra pinch

Sea salt and freshly milled pep­per 3 red onions, peeled and cut into 6 wedges

3 tbsp sherry vine­gar

1 egg­plant, cut into 6-8 wedges 2 large zuc­chini, cut into 4-6 wedges 2 cloves gar­lic, crushed

METHOD

Pre­heat oven to 100C. Lay the tomato halves, cut side up, on a bak­ing rack. Brush with olive oil and season with su­gar, sea salt and pep­per. Set rack on a bak­ing tray and bake for 3 hours. Re­move from oven and set aside. Heat oven to 180C. Line two bak­ing trays with bak­ing pa­per. Spread the onion wedges evenly on the first lined bak­ing tray. Driz­zle gen­er­ously with half the olive oil and the sherry vine­gar.

Sprin­kle with 3 tsp of su­gar, salt and pep­per. Mix the re­main­ing olive oil with the gar­lic and brush this mix­ture on both sides of the egg­plant and zuc­chini wedges. Lay them flat on the sec­ond bak­ing tray and season. Bake both trays of veg­eta­bles for 25 min­utes, turn­ing veg­eta­bles half­way through Few sprigs le­mon thyme, leaves picked Hand­ful oregano leaves

Ad­di­tional herbs for gar­nish

OLI­VADA:

20g cur­rants

1 tbsp ver­jus

170g pit­ted olives

20g an­chovies

1 small clove gar­lic

15g baby ca­pers

1 tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 tbsp le­mon juice

cook­ing. Al­low to cool com­pletely then ar­range some of the egg­plant, zuc­chini, toma­toes and onions over base and sides of a plas­tic wrap-lined, 2L stain­less-steel bowl. For the oli­vada, com­bine cur­rants and ver­jus and stand for half an hour. Mean­while pound olives, an­chovies and gar­lic to a coarse paste. Add cur­rant mix, ca­pers, olive oil and le­mon juice. Set aside. Com­bine re­main­ing veg­eta­bles, herbs and a few spoon­fuls of the oli­vada in a sep­a­rate bowl and toss gen­tly. Spoon the mix­ture into the lined bowl. Cover with plas­tic wrap and press gen­tly. Chill for at least an hour be­fore turn­ing out of mould on to a plat­ter.

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