RECIPE.

GET SET FOR SUM­MER EN­TER­TAIN­ING AND GO BIG ON FLAVOUR WITH THIS IN­NO­VA­TIVE EGG­PLANT SALAD

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - CONTENTS - W O R D S : A L A S TA I R M C L EO D PHOTO & STYLING: MIRANDA PORTER CE­RAM­ICS: T WOWARMHANDS.COM Alas­tair McLeod is the chefowner of Al’FreshCo, al­freshco.com.au

My food is in a con­stant state of flux, but it’s grounded in tech­niques I gleaned eons ago. I learned to cook egg­plant this way at Da Gio­vanni in Torino. I have no doubt Gio­vanni still pre­pares his me­lan­zane the same way to­day. No oil is used, which in­stinc­tively feels wrong, but it’s a fan­tas­tic tech­nique that gives the op­por­tu­nity to in­tro­duce big flavours that won’t get lost in an overly oily dish. I also en­joy roast­ing whole egg­plant on the bar­be­cue, be­fore tear­ing the flesh into smoky lobes. Try mist­ing thin slices with olive oil be­fore grilling them, then strew with chilli, gar­lic, le­mon zest and pars­ley. An­other favoured way is to shal­low-fry thick plinths in olive oil. Don’t be con­cerned by how much oil the slices ab­sorb, as they only take what they need. Cel­e­brate new ideas. Keep learn­ing.

SALAD OF EGG­PLANT, FETA, PEAS AND HAZEL­NUTS Serves: 4 IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

Sea salt 2 large egg­plants, peeled and cut into 7mm thick slices 40g hazel­nuts, toasted and cracked 50g crumbly feta 50g peas 3 tsp pome­gran­ate mo­lasses 1 tbsp tahini, thinned with warm wa­ter Seeds of ¼ pome­gran­ate Ex­tra vir­gin olive oil Juice of ½ le­mon

METHOD

Heat a heavy-based fry­ing pan over a medium-high flame. Lightly sea­son the pan and place in slices of egg­plant. You will need to do this in batches. Sea­son egg­plant and cook un­til golden, then turn and cook the other side. When soft and cooked through, leave to cool on cake racks. To serve, ar­range on a large plate and scat­ter with nuts, feta and peas. Driz­zle with pome­gran­ate mo­lasses and tahini. Scat­ter with pome­gran­ate seeds, and fi­nally driz­zle with olive oil and le­mon juice.

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