Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Parmigiana Di Melanzana (almost) was an organic experience

Well August Bank Holiday brought my only day off of the week and we were going to go walking but by the time we got up and finished off the curry we'd had boxed from the night before, it was afternoon!!  Then we got to thinking about what farm shops or markets might be open in the area.  We looked up a few on the Internet but most seemed to be shut on a Monday - all except for Kenyon Hall Farm near Warrington.

Fran informed me that they were in fact an award winning supplier of local/organic food so we thought we must go spend some cash - so that is what we did.

It wasn't particularly local but we managed to avoid the majority of the Bank Holiday traffic and 40 mins later we found the place.  It is a great place where you can pick your own fruit or (like us) just go and buy produce that someone else has harvested.

After a successful little shopping trip and we ended up with this array of delights:

Organic delights

We bought red wine vinegar, cheese, tomatoes, new potatoes, a massive courgette (for 10p), patty pan squashes, a couple of lettuces, a chilli plant and a sweet basil plant (as ours didn't appear to want to provide any more leaves!).  With this we thought we could make a lovely meal. - And we did, although we had to use some things that we already had in so it wasn't a totally organic meal - but tasty none the less.

Parmigiana Di Melanzana (Baked Sliced Aubergines with Tomato, Taleggio and Parmesan Cheese)

Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes was once again the book of choice.  As we had organic tomatoes and tomatoes form a big part of this dish we thought it would be perfect (we also had an aubergine that needed eating!).

The only change we made was the Taleggio Cheese which we couldn't find so we replaced it with some Emmental in the hope it would react in a similar way.  Our recipe (also adjusted for 2 people) was:

1 large aubergine
Extra virgin olive oil
150g Emmental cheese
Large handful of basil leaves (shredded)
300 ml tomato sauce as shown here
Parmesan cheese (grated)


Slice the aubergine length ways and salt the slices and leave to drain for 30 mins.  Pat the aubergine dry and fry over a medium heat for 2 mins either side and put to one side.  When ready you can begin assembly.

To assemble, lay half the aubergine slices over an oven-proof dish.  Scatter over half the basil and spread half the sauce.

Then add the slices of cheese and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese.

Repeat the layer with the remainder of the ingredients and bake in a pre-heated oven for 25 mins - until bubbling.

To serve, I stir fried some of the Patty Pan Squash with salt, pepper and Greek oregano and finished with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and a just some organic lettuce on the side.

Parmigiana Di Melanzana, Stir-fried Patty Pan Squash and Organic Lettuce

1 comment:

  1. It has been noted that we didn't give much indication as to what we thought of this dish... well it was delicious as was the Patty Pan Squash. I am not 100% sure that Emmental is the best cheese to use though - it seemed to be quickly return to its 'before cooked' consistency where you probably want it to be a bit more stretchy - if you know what I mean? The smokey flavour was good but perhaps not what the dish intended. We shall try harder next time to source the Taleggio as Mr Stein intended.