Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Towering In Forno!

Torre di Melanzane & Agnello Trittato con Ajvar e Menta
Aubergine and Ground Lamb Tower with Ajvar & Mint

I decided to take the humble aubergine to new heights with this evenings supper and stacked it high with ground lamb and mint to make this delicious little dish! It was to be the choice of making a burger and having some grilled aubergine with it- or of doing something a little bit more tasty and fun. And I am pretty sure you can see from the pictures what I decided to fo!

I love making something fun out of basic ingredients- there is no need to buy unusual and expensive ingredients to make cool and exciting food! Cooking can be the next-best thing to a magic trick at times- and how much fun is that? I would say quite a bit! So watch carefully... and I will show you a couple more of my secrets... Enjoy!

First things first, we need to slice the aubergine and to sprinkle it with salt to draw out the bitterness- which will take around 15 minutes. In the meantime there are all kinds of things to do!

TO prepare the ground lamb, you will need finely chopped mint, parsley, onion, bread-crumbs, 1 egg and some grated Parmesan cheese. Mix all of these together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and work everything until you have a nice smooth mass that is a little softer than a regular hamburger. Easy, what?

Once the aubergine begins to give of its juices- that is the sign to give those slices a squeeze and to get rid of that bitterness! Pop the slices into a hot frying pan, with a little crushed garlic and sautée with just a little olive oil. Fry them for 2-3 minutes at the most- they should be just half-done as we are going to continue cooking them in the oven.

Take the ground lamb and shape it into rounds of about the size of the aubergine. Stack up the layers- I made mine 3 slices of eggplant high- but feel free to go as higher or low as you like! Into a hot oven it goes for 30-40 minutes at 350° until golden brown, making sure to carefully turn each tower over half way. Serve with some tangy, hot Ajvar and a good sprinkle of finely chopped mint... Delicious!

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