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Sicilian Baked Eggplants


I’m experiencing a different kind of seasonal transition than what I’m accustomed to. Until this year, travel aside, I’d spent my entire life in Melbourne, in a temperate climate where by April, autumn had a firm icy grip, where I’d have begun to wear jeans and a jumper by now and at night be sleeping under a layer of thick blankets to keep the cold at bay.

In Brisbane, the days are yet to drop below 30C and the humidity is hovering around 70%. I’m still sleeping under a whirring ceiling fan. I’m longing to feel a chill in the air, although there is an upside to my personal climate change, autumn produce is still plentiful, good and cheap. Eggplants, tomatoes and red capsicums are sitting cheek by jowl with celeriac, kohlrabi, and chard in the greengrocer’s display, an unexpected bonus.

This wonderfully simple but robust eggplant recipe landed into my FB feed from ”Dish” magazine, a terrific publication out of New Zealand to which I subscribe. It’s typical of the recipes they publish, big on achievable wow factor in the taste stakes and most importantly for me, easily adapted to dietary restrictions.

Sicilian Baked Eggplants

2 large firm eggplants, the purple oval variety

4 large ripe tomatoes, sliced

1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons oregano

1/4 cup robust olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

topping:

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons roasted pine nuts

2 tablespoons capers

zest of 1 large lemon

2 tablespoons snipped chives

to serve:

1 cup thick natural yoghurt

Preheat oven to 170C fan forced. Line a shallow ovenproof dish with baking paper.

Wash the eggplants and cut in half lengthwise, then lay them flat side down and slit each half lengthwise into 5 thick pieces leaving them at the stem end.

Lay the eggplant halves, skin side down on the baking tray and fan out the slices. Season the eggplant fans with salt, pepper and oregano.

Lay a sliced tomato on top of each.

Whisk together the oil, vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, then spoon over the eggplants.

Bake for about 1 hour, basting with juices every 15 minutes. The eggplants should be very soft and the juices well caramelised.

Allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Mix together the topping ingredients.

Dollop thick yoghurt over the eggplants then scatter over the topping.

Serve with crusty sourdough and greens.

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

46 comments on “Sicilian Baked Eggplants

  1. creativeshare
    December 1, 2016

    Guess who is having Sicillian baked eggplant tonight 😛 Oh Yeah!

    Like

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  4. EllaDee
    May 5, 2016

    I’m trying to persuade the G.O. of the deliciousness of eggplant. I’ll try this as a side. Thanks for the tip on Dish, the last thing I need is more emails but the website look so good I signed up.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      May 5, 2016

      Thanks Dale, a little eggplant as a side dish might just tempt him. The recipes in”Dish” are super user friendly and mostly very tempting. i hope you enjoy it as much as I do

      Like

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  6. Karen
    May 1, 2016

    I enjoy eggplant and this sounds like a new and delicious way of eating it. I’m so glad you shared the recipe.

    Like

  7. Gorgeous!

    Like

  8. Napoli Restaurant Alert
    April 26, 2016

    Wonderful! My husband will love this!

    Like

  9. ardysez
    April 20, 2016

    They look delicious Sandra. I saw some decent looking eggplant in the grocery on Sunday and thought I must get out my recipes and see what I can make with them, and this looks just the ticket. Am finally feeling well enough to want to think about cooking again, instead of just surviving 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 20, 2016

      Pleased to hear you have shaken off your lurgy Ardys. I blame the recycled air on airlines for spreading bacteria/virus. I always seems to get sick after a long haul flight. The eggplant recipe was a great success here

      Liked by 1 person

  10. cookingwithshy
    April 19, 2016

    This looks just fantastic!!!

    Like

  11. chefceaser
    April 18, 2016

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.

    Like

  12. chef mimi
    April 18, 2016

    Oh my god those look good!!! I will go buy eggplants ASAP!!!

    Like

  13. Sabrina
    April 17, 2016

    These look fantastic!!

    Like

  14. Gather and Graze
    April 16, 2016

    What a beautiful vibrant dish Sandra! Love these Mediterranean flavours all brought together. Love a Queensland winter… really quite envious of you!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 16, 2016

      Hah, we humans are never happy, esp when it comes to the weather. I’m amazed how cool 25C feels. The eggplants were fabulous, just bought some more to make this dish again

      Liked by 1 person

  15. circusgardener
    April 15, 2016

    Sounds as gorgeous as it looks. I’ll enjoy trying this.

    Like

  16. Eha
    April 15, 2016

    As eggplant is one of my fave vegetables and stuffing my usual way to prepare I am SO glad for this interesting recipe and shall look up the link also! I have usually used an old Charmaine Solomon recipe from her East/West Vegetarian book of eons ago – but this is so much more rich and imaginative dear Charmaine may just find herself on the bottom pile of beloved recipes 🙂 ! Oh, I always have to put my heatbank on by mid-March at the latest [and that is it for the winter till Oct-Nov] . . . at the moment I am still sailing along with no heating tho’ a nightgown has had to be fished out of the drawer 🙂 ! Electricity bill . . . yikes and wonderful!!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 15, 2016

      Who said there was no global warming? Enjoy the eggplants….

      Like

  17. Conor Bofin
    April 15, 2016

    Sandra, that looks like an impressionist painting exploding on to the canvas.
    Beautiful.
    Best,
    Conor

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 15, 2016

      Aw thanks Conor. It was an attractive dish and I had fun messing around with the horizontal arm on my new tripod combined with tethering the camera directly to the laptop. Always something to learn….

      Liked by 1 person

  18. anne54
    April 14, 2016

    What a delicious combination!
    (You may not want to know that we are having those beautiful Melbourne autumn days at the moment…..)

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 15, 2016

      It’s simple to prepare and really delicious Anne, enjoy Melbourne’s gorgeous autumn

      Like

  19. Lisa @ cheergerm
    April 14, 2016

    Love a bit of stuffed eggplant, never thought to dollop yoghurt over! Yum!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 14, 2016

      Yoghurt and eggplant is delicious together, the acidity helps cut the (delicious) oiliness,

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Claudia
    April 14, 2016

    Those look fantastic!

    Like

  21. Yvonne
    April 14, 2016

    Yup, I’ll try this one, and we’ll have some Puglian red wine with it.

    Like

  22. Francesca
    April 14, 2016

    Lovely, just a bit like a caponata encased in the fruit.

    Like

  23. mawarre
    April 14, 2016

    Looks gorgeous! I didn’t know you had relocated to Brisbane, Sandra. Welocme! How wonderful for me to know another Brisie blogger. I’ve got heaps of eggplants in my vegetable garden to make this recipe. Thanks for sharing. margaret

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 14, 2016

      Hi Margaret, we moved about 6 months ago, family beckoned. This is a terrific eggplant recipe, to serve as a side dish or a light vego meal. It will be beautiful made with produce from your garden, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did….

      Like

  24. Jhuls
    April 14, 2016

    This looks amazing! I love eggplants. 🙂

    Like

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