This is a wonderful vegetarian starter. It can also be served as a side dish with a main course. It should be prepared in advance and baked just before serving. You can also use this as a basic recipe and add other ingredients to make it more interesting.
4 medium eggplants
Sunflower oil to fry eggplant
40ml sunflower oil
7.5ml cumin seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 large tomatoes
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and black pepper to season
Slice eggplant into 2cm thick rounds. Place rounds on absorbent paper and lightly sprinkle with salt on both sides. Allow the eggplant rounds to sweat. Change the absorbent paper if necessary. Place the tomatoes in a dish and pour boiling water over. Leave for a few minutes and then place them in iced water. The skins should come off quite easily. Chop the blanched tomatoes. Fry or grill eggplant rounds on a griddle pan or a non stick frying pan. Remove from pan and leave to drain on absorbent paper. Heat 40ml sunflower oil and sauté cumin seeds. When they begin to ‘cough and splutter’ add chopped onion. The onion should be fragrant and light golden brown before adding the chopped tomatoes. Season with salt. The sauce should resemble a thick paste. Add half the chopped parsley and reserve the other half to garnish.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place eggplant rounds on a non reactive baking tray. Spread the cooked tomato over the eggplant and sandwich with a second round. Bake the sandwiches for 10 minutes. Place the sandwiches on a platter and garnish with chopped parsley and a sprinkling of ground black pepper.
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