Grilled Aubergine Bruschetta
I have officially managed to survive for two months without eating meat (aside from the great pork pie tragedy of ’13) and so far it’s going great! Okay I may currently be fantasising about slathering my housemate in BBQ sauce, but other than that I am just fine…ahem. However, I am struggling a bit with finding good sandwich fillers that I can use as a substitute for my two packs a week salami habit. I am starting to see why there are not a lot of German vegetarians. When you are brought up on a steady diet of cured meat, egg-mayonnaise feels somewhat insubstantial in comparison.
So this is one of my first specifically meat free sandwich experiments. Because I have managed to convince myself that obviously I am so much healthier now that I don’t eat meat, I felt the need to compensate by frying the bread for this. If you are less deluded than me, feel free to just toast it or put it under the grill if it isn’t toaster shaped. The important bit is that your bread should be nice and crunchy to contrast with the almost silky aubergines. The aubergines are even better if you make them the day before but for clarity’s sake, the recipe just assumes that you are making it all in one go.
1 large aubergine
1 lemon (zest only)
2 cloves of garlic
4-5 tbsp olive oil
2tsp chopped parsley
Salt & black pepper to taste
1 ciabatta roll or two thick slices of sourdough bread or something similar
Optional: 20g Parmesan
1. Start by preparing your bread. If you are using a bread roll of some sort, half it lengthways and then brush with a tablespoon of the olive oil. Alternatively do the same thing with two thick slices of bread (DO NOT use warburtons or anything along those lines!)
2. Put a frying pan on a high heat (ideally one with a griddle pattern because slightly burned things just taste better) and grill the bread with the crust side up until it is nice and golden. Flip it over and grill for another minute or so then set aside.
3. Slice your aubergine lengthways into thin slices. Brush the individual slices with olive oil. You can just add the oil to the pan but aubergines act pretty much like sponges so you will have to keep adding oil.
4. Cook the aubergine in batches on a high heat until they start to turn translucent and have some black and brown bits or griddle marks. Flip over and cook for another minute or so on the other side.
5. While the aubergine is cooking, combine lemon zest, chopped parsley, chopped garlic and black pepper.
6. Once the aubergines have finished cooking put them aside. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and fry your herbs and pepper for 30s or so to bring out the flavours.
7. Pour the oil and seasoning over your aubergines. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and toss everything together until well combined.
8. Pile a generous amount of aubergine onto your bread (you will probably have some aubergine left over and it makes for a nice snack on its own as well) and enjoy with a large glass of wine if you are that way inclined.