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