Recipe: Aubergine Pizza Toast

This recipe is the culmination of my struggle to come up with yummy ways to eat aubergine for my boyfriend who doesn’t particular like aubergine. I struggle to understand why as it’s one of my favourite vegetables, but I accepted the challenge and after having tested a few different dishes (layered melanzane parmigiana – edible, but not great according to him; quick aubergine and courgette lasagne – better!; non-layered melanzane – he thought this was a lot better than the layered version and something I can make again (hurrah!); fried aubergine with lumpfish roe and dill for canapés – this was a no go) I somehow came up with this aubergine pizza toast. I obviously liked it and luckily the boyfriend did too!

There are no complaints when I cook aubergine this way, so since its inception I have made it many many times! It’s perfect for lunch or dinner together with a green salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (trust me on this, the balsamic goes SO well with this!) but I have no doubt I will adapt them into canapès some time soon, as they would be perfect pre-supper and are vegetarian!

Aubergine pizza toast, serves 2

I often roast the aubergine the day before, refrigerate and heat up again (either in the oven or in the microwave) just before assembling the toasts.

1 aubergine, peeled and cut into 1, 5 cm cubes

1 tbsp mild olive oil

salt and pepper

4 pieces sourdough or seeded bread

olive oil

1 garlic clove, cut in half

1-2 tsp dried oregano

4-5 tbsp tomato sauce

1 ball (125 g) buffalo mozzarella, sliced

grated parmesan

To serve:

good olive oil, to drizzle

salt and pepper

8 basil leaves, if you have

green salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Pre-heat the oven to 200C fan. Place the diced aubergine in an ovenproof dish drizzled with olive oil. Drizzle with more oil. Add salt and pepper. Stir until evenly coated and roast in the oven for approx 15 minutes or until soft and a little dark around the edges.

Place the bread on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and put in the oven to toast until golden brown, approx 5-10 minutes. Rub the garlic, cut side down, over the bread slices. Divide the cooked aubergine between the bread slices. Scatter with oregano. Spoon the tomato sauce on top. Divide the mozzarella and grate the parmesan over the toasts. Put the tray in the oven until the mozzarella is melted and bubbly.

Transfer the toasts to plates (two per plate) and add the finishing touches; , basil, a drizzle of good olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Serve with a green salad, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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