Grilled aubergine appetizer

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Although the plump, pear-shaped variety, with its near-black shiny-skinned exterior, is probably the most familiar to us, aubergines come in a wide variety of shapes, colours and sizes. Italian cooks enjoy varieties with long fruit and striking lavender and cream streaks. Asian cultivars vary widely: some, such as the bitter-flavoured pea aubergine, are the size of a grape; the seed-filled, rounded Thai aubergine has green stripes and is used in curries; the beautifully long and slender pale-purple Japanese and Chinese varieties are ideal for stir-frying. The aubergine can also be ivory-coloured and ovoid, which almost certainly led people in some countries to name it the ‘eggplant’. In this recipe the combination of aubergine and tomato gets a very spicy contrast from the garlic parmesan mayonnaise sauce.

Ingredients:

1 aubergine

2-3 tbs olive oil

2-3 tomatoes, sliced

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

4 tbs mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Fresh herbs to garnish (dill, basil, oregano, thyme, etc)

Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Slice aubergines, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Grill until the aubergine slices are cooked, about 5 minutes on an electric grill, you can also fry or bake the aubergine slices.

Meanwhile mix the grated parmesan cheese, crushed garlic, mayonnaise and pepper in a small bowl.

Arrange the aubergine slices on a plate, top each one with a slice of tomato and a spoon of the garlicky parmesan mixture.

Garnish each appetizer with a fresh herb sprig and serve warm or cold.