I have a new favorite sandwich filling. I have been craving eggplant (aubergine) since the evening when I couldn’t find any in the lane for the green curry.
On Sunday when we were out exploring in another part of town (Shepard’s Bush) we walked past a number of little middle eastern groceries. I stopped at the first one that had eggplant visible in the baskets out in front of the store, picked out a cute small one and brought it in to the cashier. He said to me, “only one?” I replied, “it’s a tiny kitchen.” He said, “They are 2 for 1 pound. Are you sure you don’t want 2?” I hesitantly handed him a 50p coin and then started out to grab another. Then as he said, “you don’t have to get another if you don’t want it.” I halted mid-motion and we both laughed as I stuffed the little thing into my backpack. Funnier yet, I purchased another (bigger) aubergine at the Fruit Bowl yesterday.
I wanted something like baba ganoush (eggplant dip) or melitzana salata (mashed eggplant and onion salad) to put into pita (pitta, here) breads, but I didn’t want to have to roast the eggplant for an hour, then peel, chop, etc. to get there. I am supposed to be spending my time reading and writing after all!
So, I tried a new to me method. Here it is:
Spicy Roasted Aubergine Slices
Serves 2 to 4 (depending on how it is used)
1 medium eggplant
1 tablespoon olive oil
smoked paprika (I used Penzey’s)
hot paprika (I used the version made by my friend Mark and imported from Jupiter NC)
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C (about 400 degrees F). Cut the top off of the eggplant and peel off the skin using a peeler. Cut the eggplant diagonally into ½ inch slices. Salt the eggplant slices, let sit for a few minutes, then put into a colander and run water over them and allow to drain thoroughly. Rub the bottom of a non-stick baking sheet or pan with olive oil. Put eggplant slices in the pan and rub around on the oiled surface then turn them over. Dust the top of the slices with lemon pepper (or salt and pepper), smoked paprika, and a small amount of hot paprika. Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes. Then, take out the pan and turn the slices over and dust again. Return to the oven and cook another 10 to 15 minutes until the slices are soft and browning on top and/or on the edges.
Remove from oven and cut into slices and serve as a sandwich filling, salad topping, or feature on a mezze platter.
We had our aubergine slices with whole wheat pitta bread, falafel, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, tzatziki (Alpro plain yogurt with cucumbers, red onion, cilantro, salt and black pepper) and tahini sauce (tahini, lemon, water and smoked paprika).