MasterChef – December 2011 , Page 72
Recipe by Sophia Young
Photography by Ben Dearnley
- 1kg eggplants, cut into 1cm-thick slices
- 125ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle
- 95g (1/3 cup) tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp firmly packed saffron threads
- 250ml (1 cup) verjuice or dry white wine (see note)
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 200g grape tomatoes, halved
- 250g cherry truss tomatoes, cut into small bunches
- 40g (1/4 cup) pine nuts, roasted
- Place eggplants in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 2 tbs oil, then, using your hands, toss to coat. Repeat with another 2 tbs oil. Add tomato paste, then, using your hands, rub into eggplants to evenly coat.
- Heat a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Working in 3 batches, add eggplants to pan and cook, drizzling with a little extra oil if necessary to prevent sticking, for 4 minutes each side or until tender and golden. Transfer to a flat dish.
- Meanwhile, place saffron and verjuice in a small bowl and set aside. Heat remaining 2 tbs oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and 1 tsp salt, and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Add cumin and paprika, and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add grape tomatoes and stir to coat in onion mixture. Add truss tomatoes, cover with a lid and cook for 8 minutes or until all tomatoes have softened. Add verjuice mixture and bring to a simmer. Season.
- Layer eggplant and tomatoes with cooking juices on a platter. Scatter with pine nuts to serve.