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Crispy Eggplant with Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Pickled Raisins and Mint
Crispy Eggplant with Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Pickled Raisins and Mint

Crispy Eggplant with Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Pickled Raisins and Mint


Make this with hot eggplant, or eggplant that has been roasted and cooled. Room-temperature eggplant has the same allure as takeout food the morning after, it is slightly greasy and incredibly satisfying. Plus, a room-temperature dish means that you don't have to be in the kitchen right up to the moment that the food is served.

1 large or 2 medium (680g) eggplant, cut into large chunks
120mL (1/2 cup) olive oil
1/2 tsp (3g) salt
1 cup (140g) golden raisins
1/2 cup (120mL) brown sugar-vinegar sauce
2 balls (455g) fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup (60mL) cream
Zest of a lemon
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tomatoes (455g), as ripe as possible, cored and cut into large irregular chunks
5 sprigs mint, torn into pieces
1/4 cup (35g) garlic bread crumbs

Brown sugar-vinegar sauce:

1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (120mL) apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp (3g) salt


Brown sugar-vinegar sauce:

Whisk all ingredients to blend.

Heat oven to 200 C (400 F).

Toss eggplant with olive oil and salt. Put on a greased, foil-lined baking sheet and roast until golden brown and tender, about 25 minutes.

Combine raisins and brown sugar-vinegar sauce and let marinate.

Tear mozzarella into irregular chunks and dress with cream, lemon zest and pepper.

Toss roasted eggplant together with tomatoes and mint. Top with dressed mozzarella, raisins and bread crumbs and serve.


Ratatouille –

1 eggplant (455g), cut into large dice or chunks
1 red capsicum, cut into 12mm thick strips
1 small red onion, cut into thin slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes, cut into irregular chunks, or 120g cherry tomatoes
1 medium Summer squash, shaved into thin rounds
5 sprigs basil leaves, torn

Oven roast eggplant, capsicum and onion together and immediately stir in the garlic. Toss the eggplant mixture, tomatoes and squash together with torn basil and serve.

Pickled eggplant with hazelnuts and parsley –

2 eggplant
1/2 cup brown sugar-vinegar sauce
1/2 bunch parsley, stemmed, leaves left whole
60g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Oven roast eggplant and immediately dress with brown sugar-vinegar sauce. Toss eggplant with parsley and sprinkle with hazelnuts.

Eggplant with prosciutto, Parmesan and lentils –

1 eggplant
1 cup (200g) cooked lentils
1 lemon, zest and juice
55g prosciutto, or thinly shaved ham or salami
55g Parmesan, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable peeler

Oven roast eggplant and toss with lentils, lemon zest and juice. Mingle the prosciutto with the mixture and garnish with Parmesan ribbons.

Credits: This is an edited extract from Ruffage by Abra Berens, published by Chronicle Books $65 and is available where all good books are sold.

Photo Credits: Photographer: © EE Berger