Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Prepare to Meet Your Baker

Torta Salata di Melanzane, Ricotta Salata, Menta & Pomodori Secche
Eggplant Bake with Salted Ricotta, Mint & Sun-Dried Tomatoes


What in the world drove me into the kitchen and made me turn on the oven, on such a hot and humid evening? Well, basically, the main reason was that I wanted something delicious to eat of course!

The other reason was that apart from a little prep-work, this was easy to prepare and was baked and ready to enjoy in the time it took for me to take a shower, pour a drink and get relaxed and refreshed after my long work day. Yep, this is one of those easy kinds of meals to make- and it is one that I think you will enjoy!


Eggplant and mint- one of my favorite food-pairings at any time of the year, but especially in the Summertime. Add sun-dried tomatoes and salted ricotta cheese into the equation and this combination becomes even more Sicilian- mmmh! It's-a my kinda food!


These were the ingredients to make this tasty little dish- which was enough for 2 nice servings: 2 medium sized eggplants, 1 egg, 1 small onion (a Spring onion in this case), 4-5 slices of sun-dried tomato, some salted ricotta, 1-2 cups of bread crumbs and plenty of mint and parsley.


This was one of those very best of Summer dishes... the kind that tastes great whether it is eaten hot or cold... not that the chances are very high that any of it will be left-over for tomorrow!


To make this, simply peel and dice the eggplant, chop up the onion and sun-dried tomato and fry with just a little olive oil until the onion becomes transparent and the eggplant begins to brown.


Add a small splash of water, stir it in, pop on the lid, turn off the heat and allow it sit, rest and continue cooking for a few minutes more.


Set it to one side to cool off for a while before you continue with the rest... Which you can prepare in the meantime. Finely chop the parsley and mint, grate a good couple of teaspoons of salted ricotta and turn on the oven to have it nice and hot in advance,


Add the bread crumbs first as they will help to cool off the eggplant, add the finely chopped herbs, the egg, the salted ricotta and plenty of ground black pepper. Please note that I have not added any salt whatsoever to this dish... The tomatoes and ricotta have enough salt between them to season this whole thing. So remember... Less is more!


 Stir all of the ingredients together until you have a nice, thick and relatively firm mixture and then grab your baking dish, lightly grease it with olive oil and get ready for some action!


Spoon-in the mixture, pat it down nice and flat, lightly brush the surface with olive oil to help the breadcrumbs to brown and pop it into a pre-warmed oven at 200°C for 20 minutes.


 And after 20 minutes... Wow! Just wow!


Allow to cool... If you can resist... Or enjoy it piping hot! Haha! I know that I for one could not resist the temptation!

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