The first recipe is a summer take on everyone's favourite - aubergine (eggplant) parmesan. While I begin to salivate at the thought of the gooey melted mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese layered with slabs of fried aubergine and tangy tomato sauce, the idea of eating this in the heat (much less cooking it), I find infinitely less appealing. The genius of this recipe is that it maintains the flavours of the original dish but offers more freshness and texture. Freshly sliced tomato is layered with soft, cold mozzarella cheese, basil and grilled aubergine. The only heat needed is to grill the aubergine which is most easily done using a cast iron grill pan. —woo wei-duan
Round or Oblong Aubergine, rinsed, stem end removed and cut into 1/2 cm thick rounds
Mozzarella (preferably made from buffalo milk), cut into 1 cm thick rounds
Tomatoes (best quality possible), rinsed, stem removed and cut into 1/2 cm thick rounds
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling
Black Pepper, freshly ground
In This Recipe
Mix 60 grams of salt with 150 mls of boiling water and stir to dissolve the salt. Add 1.5 liters of cold water.
Soak the aubergine rounds in the salted water to cover (add more cold water if needed) for an hour. Remove from the water and squeeze out any excess water.
Brush the rounds on both sides with olive oil.
Grill on a hot cast iron grill pan or on a barbecue (about 5 minutes per side).
Remove and cool.
Slice the tomato into rounds.
Slice the mozzarella into rounds.
Place a slice of tomato on a plate and sprinkle salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil over the top.