I could eat this every day – me
Katie’s aubergine-based recipe is fab, but I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t strayed from the original recipe a little. Here’s what we did…
- 1 medium aubergine
- 75g breadcrumbs
- 50g parmesan cheese (or vegetarian hard cheese alternative)
- 75g flour
- 2 medium free-range eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- 2 medium white onions
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar glaze (I didn’t have any so used normal balsamic instead)
- 100g cranberries
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 little goat cheeses (vegetarian, if necessary)
To prepare the parmesan crusted aubergine
- First, set up a crumbing station with three bowls.
- In the first, mix the breadcrumbs, finely grated parmesan, salt and pepper, in the second, beat the eggs and in the third, place the flour
- Cut the aubergine into large rounds, about 1/2 inch thick
- Using either a deep fryer or a deep frying pan, set up your oil to get hot
- Take each round of aubergine and dunk it first into flour, then the egg mix, then the breadcrumb mixture. Be sure to coat both sides of the vegetable. We noticed that it was hard to get the coating to stick to the aubergine’s shiny sides so we double-coated (flour, egg, crumb, egg, crumb), which seemed to help.
- Once each round is breaded, place it into the hot oil and fry it until each side is golden brown. Remove from the oil and place on a baking tray lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil
- When all the aubergine is cooked, place the baking tray into a low oven to keep warm while you prepare the rest of the meal
To prepare the caramelised onions
- Chop the onions into half moon strips and sauté with a bit of olive oil in a saucepan until golden brown and soft
- As they begin to caramelise, add a couple of teaspoons full of balsamic vinegar and stir. Leave them cooking over a low heat while you prepare the cranberries. I think ours were a little less caramelised that Katie’s, but they were still very tasty
To prepare the cranberries
- In another saucepan, put the cranberries, brown sugar, orange juice and cinnamon over a medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries get soft and begin to pop. I think we over-thickened ours but they were still delicious and didn’t need extra sugar
- Before serving, taste and add more sugar if too bitter
To prepare the goats cheese
- The original recipe calls for a dollop of goats cheese, but we cut two small goats cheese into discs through the middle and placed the four pieces skin side down on a baking tray
- Bake in a low oven for 5 minutes until just melted
To plate up
- To serve, we departed a little from the recipe again, making a small portion better suited as a starter. Put a little balsamic vinegar on a small plate, then set a round of aubergine on top.
- On this, place a dollop of cranberries, a goat cheese half and top with a spoon of the onion mixture
The result? A beautiful dish that pulls all of the flavours together perfectly. It’s one of the tastiest meals I’ve ever made and well worth a little bit of juggling to get all the elements together.
But most importantly, what did Katie think of my efforts?
It looks amazing. I know with this recipe, there’s a lot going on all at once, so I actually think halving and baking the goat cheese is a great idea. It’s easy to overthicken the cranberries, but as long as the taste is there, I don’t think it really matters. And as for the onions, it’s all a matter of personal taste. For sure your photo is something I could easily see on a posh menu, and I think you’ve made it look much better than I could have done! :) I’m genuinely pleased you liked it, as it’s one of the few veggie meals my family enjoys.
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