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Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Aubergine, locally called berehein is produced on the island. Just like the name there are many different ways to enjoy this versatile vegetable. We bought our locally produced berehein at the Farmers Market last Saturday.

Aubergines at the Farmers Market
Aubergines at the Farmers Market

What you’ll need for 4 persons:
– 500 gr firm aubergines
– 2 medium onions
– 2 cans Hunt’s diced tomatoes
– Badia olive oil
– bunch of fresh basil
– dash of balsamic vinegar
– 1 garlic clove
– 1 mozzarella ball
– 2 – 3 handful freshly grated parmesan

Wash and slice your aubergines lengthwise, slices should be about 1 – 2 cm thick. Lay the slices out on a board and salt the aubergines, so that most of the liquid is extracted.

In the mean time you can start your tomato sauce: Finely dice the onions and garlic. Gently fry them in a little olive oil. Once the onions are softened you can add the tomato and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

Now it’s time to start frying the aubergine slices. Take a large frying pan, put it to high heat and add some olive oil. Once the oil is heated up, gently pat the slices of aubergine dry with a clean cloth and add the slices carefully to the oil. Aubergines are thirsty vegetables (apart from the fact that you just dehydrated them 😉 ) so they will soak up quite a bit of the olive oil. When they turn brown on the one side, flip them over and remove them from the pan when they’re browned on both sides.

Preheat the over to 200C.

By the time you’ve fried all the slices your tomato sauce will be ready. Add about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to give the sauce some extra richness, add salt and pepper to taste.

Take an shallow ovenproof dish and start layering your melanzane by first adding a thin layer of tomato sauce, then some aubergines, some torn basil leaves and a bit of parmesan cheese, some tomato sauce, some aubergine, some basil, some parmesan and to top it off some mozzarella.

This is best enjoyed with a lovely fresh green leafy salad.

Melanzane_I

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