Thursday, July 26, 2007

Herb Crumbed Aubergine

I'm a sucker for things that are crumbed. Even when I know it will be a mistake I will invariably take a bite, no matter what, just to see what's inside. It's a special treat somehow - the crumbs make a casing that needs to be breached to discover the contents. Even if it's a disappointment there's the compensation of eating the crust - the combination of crumbs, egg and hot oil is usually a winner.

This is a straightforward recipe that has a few steps involved but makes a yummy dinner that is slightly different every time, depending on the choice and quantities of herbs used. I tend to salt the aubergine slices before I start not to rid them of bitterness - not really necessary these days - but they tend to soak up less oil as they cook if they are salted first.

Herb Crumbed Aubergine

2 medium sized aubergine
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tbspns finely chopped fresh herbs that you like
1 egg
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Salt and Pepper
Sunflower oil

Slice the aubergines into rounds a little thicker than a pound coin, salt them and leave them in a colander to drain for half an hour. Rinse and pat dry.
In a bowl mix the garlic, herbs and breadcrumbs and season. In another bowl beat the egg till frothy. Then dip each slice of aubergine first into egg then into crumbs and coat thoroughly. Chill in the fridge for half an hour or so to set the crumb.

Heat about half a centimetre of oil in a heavy based pan then fry the slices in batches, turning them after a couple of minutes till all are golde. Drain on kitchen paper and keep them warm in the oven as you go.

I really like them served with some warm pepperonata and perhaps some salad or little pastas. Though they don't retain their crispiness they are remarkably good cold for lunch next day.

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