Capturing the summer season with fresh basil Pesto and aubergines. Serve with a simple green salad for a great starter.
Aubergine and Pesto Medallions – to serve 4
- 1 vine-ripened tomato, cut into 5mm-thick slices and finely diced
- 85ml olive oil
- 1 aubergine (about 400g), cut into 8 x 1.5 cm thick slices
- 2 tbsp Pesto
- 16 small bocconcini, halved or a large ball of mozzarella, diced
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
- 8 small basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Put the diced tomato on a paper towel-lined plate.
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the aubergine slices. Cook for 5 minutes; don’t worry if the oil disappears. Turn the slices over and add the rest of the oil if you need it. Cook for another 5 minutes, and drain on a plate covered with paper towel. Blot the top of the aubergines with more paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and transfer the aubergine slices onto it. Divide the pesto between the slices and spread. Spoon some of the diced tomato onto each slice (you might have a bit too much).
Arrange the mozzarella on top of the tomato. Sprinkle with Parmesan, season with salt and black pepper, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Drain again on paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Garnish with basil leaves and serve.
Wine Suggestion: You could go for either a light red with a bit of acidity, such as an Italian Barbera, or a textural white, like a good Vermentino.
(Original Recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion, Lantern, 2009.)