- 2 red capsicums, quartered, seeded
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2 eggplants, trimmed, cut into 1cm-thick slices
- 2 zucchini, trimmed, thinly sliced lengthways
- 1 bunch rocket, trimmed
- 100g soft goat's cheese
- 2 tablespoons toasted pinenuts
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Shredded lemon rind, to serve
- Toasted sourdough bread, to serve
- Step 1Preheat grill on high. Place the capsicum, skin-side up, on an oven tray and place under preheated grill. Cook for 5 minutes or until capsicum is charred and blistered. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes (this will help lift the skin). Peel and cut into thick strips.
- Step 2Preheat a char-grill pan on high. Combine the oil and garlic and brush evenly over the eggplant and zucchini slices. Place half the eggplant and zucchini on the char-grill and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until tender. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining eggplant and zucchini.
- Step 3Arrange the capsicum, eggplant, zucchini, rocket and goat’s cheese on serving plates. Sprinkle with pinenuts and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Garnish with grated lemon rind. Serve with toasted sourdough bread.
Because eggplants are quite perishable, it’s best to use them soon after purchase. Store in the crisper section of the fridge in a paper bag to draw away moisture, or tightly enclose in plastic wrap. It is often recommended that eggplant be salted before cooking. Simply sprinkle pieces with salt and leave for 30 minutes to draw any bitter juices to the surface in beads of moisture. Rinse and blot dry with paper towel. Originating in Modena, Italy, during the Middle Ages, balsamic vinegar was once commensurate with rare perfumes and healing tonics. This culinary ‘nectar of the gods’ now lends its complex flavour and rich aroma to salad dressings, berries and even desserts.
- Author: Sarah Hobbs
- Image credit: Ben Dearnley
- Publication: Notebook: