Friday, 15 April 2011


Melanzane Arrosto

Roasted Eggplant Chips

Aubergines can be a real challenge... many people have an aversion to their texture, which can be less than wonderful if they are overcooked. Oh, there are many of dishes of creamed eggplant, which are a wholly different animal... but so often, they soak up too much oil and that can be a big turn-off... especially for someone as picky as me. You may have noticed by now, that I try to keep the fat in my dishes to a minimum. You don't want a fat boyfriend... so why would I want to eat fatty food?

This is a wonderful way to prepare eggplants so that you really bring out their distinctive flavor- and it is very quick and very easy to do.

Cut the eggplant into thin slices of about 5-6 mm or roughly 1/4 of an inch. Sprinkle them with a mixture of salt, a little paprika powder and pepper and let them sit on some kitchen towel for 5-10 minutes. After this time, you will notice that they will have given of some liquid- this is what makes the eggplant often taste a little bitter. Lay some more paper towel on top of them and squeeze down gently to soak this up. That´s it for prep work... didn't I tell you this was an easy one?

Line an oven tray with aluminum foil and brush very lightly with olive oil. You can add a few slices of garlic is you want for some added flavor. Turn the broiler in your oven on high... and get ready to watch these things VERY closely!

Obviously it is going to depend on your oven, but after 2-3 minutes, the eggplant slices should be starting to sweat in their own juices... this is the time to flip them over, whilst they are still moist. What we want to do is get them dehydrated and toasty without sticking... that is how we get the natural flavor to become more intense. Flip them over again after 2 minutes and take a peek. Keep your eyes on them as they will frazzle away to nothing if you are not careful! No gabbing with your girlfriend on the phone when you try these! But stay with them, be patient and careful... and you will be rewarded with tasty, golden chips that taste better than any eggplant you have ever tried. I sprinkled a little fresh thyme on mine- another flavor that goes with aubergine perfectly. Of course they are not going to be as crunchy as a potato chip... in fact, they will soften up pretty quickly- so don't be disappointed when that happens.

This isn't about the "crunch"- it's about the FLAVOR. It is if I say so anyway...

There are a number of ways you can serve these. They make a great side-dish to grilled meat or fish or a great antipasti. A wonderful thing to do, it to make a marinade of olive oil, malt vinegar, chopped garlic and oregano and to lightly coat the grilled slices... they will soak up these good flavors and become moist and juicy again and simply delicious- a great addition to say, a mixed cheese platter. Add a few black olives marinated in the same way, a little ham and salami, a nice crusty bread and a bottle of red wine and enjoy a nice lazy Summer evening... and leave the cooking for another day...

I tried them as a salad with fresh cucumber, which I salted, peppered, added a sprinkle of sugar and some freshly ground chili flakes... But I am sure you will think of some cool combination of your own...

No comments:

Post a Comment