Wednesday, 2 December 2015

I Did It My Way!

Melanzane alla Francesco-al Forno
Francesco's Baked Eggplant

Yes- just like Sinatra... I Did It Myyyy Wayyyy! That is- I made these wonderful baked eggplant wedges this evening- baked in the oven, juicy, healthy and totally delicious!

They took a while to prepare- but boy, were they worth the wait! And after just a little prep-work, they just took care of themselves in the oven anyway... so all I had to do was to put my feet up, sip on a drink, relax and wait!

Stuffed with aromatic herbs, mint, cheese and tomato, these were packed with the flavors of Sicily yet again- surprise-surprise! But, well, hey! We know a thing or two about preparing eggplant down South- and now that I have come up with this... we know of one more method to prepare these purple beauties!

So- my simple but awesomely delicious supper consisted of 1 beautiful, Sicilian eggplant- but any kind of eggplant will do, 4-5 cherry tomatoes, 2 spring onions, the juice and zest of 1 small lemon, Provolone cheese for grating and filling, fresh mint and basil, dried oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil.

Crispy, juicy, succulent, delicious and non-greasy... these made a change from those typical fried eggplant dishes and that made them much more to my taste. And I am guessing that you will all like them too!

Preparation is pretty simple- basically you need to cut the eggplant into quarters, and then to make 4-5 deep cuts into the eggplant, as you can see right here. But- before you start getting too busy- turn on your oven to the highest setting to get it nice and hot and ready!

Open the cuts a little and sprinkle a little salt inside and out and then put a little slice of cheese, a slice of cherry tomato, a slice of Spring onion and a few leaves of mint and basil into each cut. I used the back of the blade of my knife to slice the leaves into the cuts.

I then sprinkled the eggplant with salt, plenty of pepper, oregano, a little lemon zest and juice, poured a little boiling water into the bottom of my baking dish, covered them with foil and baked/steamed them for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, they were pretty well cooked, but pale and in need of assistance!

I drizzled them with a little olive oil and sprinkled them with a little grated Provolone. Had I added it at the beginning, it would only have melted and stuck to the aluminum foil- and that wouldn't be of any use to anybody!

Back into the oven they went, on the top shelf, to continue baking for a further 20-25 minutes until they were golden brown and crispy topped and delicious!

I served them with fresh leaves of mint and basil to brighten up the flavors and to make everything look as appetizing as it tasted.

And fear not- those dark looking leaves are not burned- they are simply wonderfully dehydrated, crisped-up, crunchy and delicious... and better still, enjoyed in combination with the fresh ones too!

Doesn't that just look a whole lot more appetizing than fried eggplant? Yeah- you betcha it does!

Crispy outside, soft and juicy within... and what's not to like about that!?!


  1. Sono veramente buonissimi! Che bella ricetta! Molto saporita!

  2. Grazie mille- sono molto contento che ti piace! :-)