- 3 large aubergines thinly sliced long ways (for 3 layers)
- olive oil (lots)
- 1 finely chopped onion (or leeks)
- garlic peeled and finely sliced (or already crushed)
- lots of Italian spices (fresh or ground), sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
- 2 x tin tomatoes plus some tomato puree
- a little vinegar (we threw in some left-over homemade mint sauce in balsamic vinegar)
- 3 large handfuls Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 3 large handfuls other cheese (we used a mild cheese and cheddar combination)
- 150g buffalo mozzarella (optional but yummy, cream cheese will do)
- 2 handfuls breadcrumbs (we used brown bread because we didn’t have white)
- Preheat your Big Green Egg to 180 degrees.
- Aubergines: remove the stalks from the aubergines, slice them long ways, not more than 1cm thick. Get a pan really hot with lots of olive oil and then fry the aubergine slices in batches until charred on both sides. Keep adding olive oil as required. Remove the cooked batches to a plate and keep for later.
- Breadcrumbs: Crush breadcrumbs and soak in olive oil with some herbs. Leave to soak for use later.
- Onion, Garlic and Tomato Mix: Put 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a large pan on a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and Italian spices. Cook until onion is soft. Throw in your tinned tomatoes and the vinegar (some wine if you like). Add salt and pepper. Stir the mixture, put the lid on, turn down the heat and allow to simmer slowly for 15 minutes.
- Layering: Get a Big Green Egg Non-Stick Rectangular Drip Pan. Start with thin layer of tomato sauce, then a single layer of aubergines on top. Then layer a third or your mozzarella and sprinkle a third of your different cheeses on top. Repeat these layers twice more until you’ve used up all the ingredients finishing with a layer of cheese, and parmesan and finally sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
- Cook: Place the dish in the Big Green Egg and bake at 190°C for half an hour until golden, crisp and bubbly.
Melanzane is best eaten straight away but it can also be served cold. Yummy.
Tip: Fry up mince in the onions before you add the tomatoes for a meaty alternative.