Categories: Recipes

by Marilyn Harding

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Categories: Recipes

by Marilyn Harding

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From the Kitchen of Theresa James

Aubergine (Eggplant) Parmesan 

Baskets of aubergine and garlic at Stavros’ seaside stand.

Stavros, a distant cousin of my husband’s, has a stand selling whatever he happens to grow in his two fields. He uses the abundant seaweed that washes to shore as fertiliser. His ways are simple, economical and ecological and his produce always has flavour like nothing in the supermarket.

It’s  always a surprise to see what is displayed in the many baskets at the roadside stand across from the sea, as no two days are the same. I was inspired today when I saw  these beautiful baby aubergines beside the baskets of  garlic and tomatoes and decided to make this Aubergine Parmesan. It’s a simple supper dish which goes well with a green salad or on its own.

Ingredients.
4 large (8 small) aubergines (eggplants) sliced lengthways as thinly as you can.
8 medium size tomatoes chopped
4 garlic cloves crushed
3 thyme sprigs
6 basil leaves chopped
I red onion chopped
2 tablespoons High Phenolic Olive Oil plus extra for brushing.
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoon sugar
2 400 g cans chopped tomatoes.
200 g Parmesan cheese
100 g breadcrumbs.

Method
Heat High Phenolic Olive Oil  in large frying pan.
Add onion garlic, thyme, basil and cook until slightly golden.
Add tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and seasoning ( salt and pepper) and gently simmer for about 20 minutes or until mixture starts to thicken.
Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan (or frying pan).
Brush the aubergine slices both sides with the High Phenolic Olive Oil, then griddle in batches.
You want each slice softened and slightly charred.
Remove to plate.
Cover the bottom of baking dish with tomato mixture, then aubergine slices and later finish with breadcrumbs and parmesan.
Place in oven 180°C or 350°F for about 40 mins until the top is slightly browned and crispy.

We paired this simple and tasty dish with Sea Bass with Walnut Pesto for a great flavour complement.

Enjoy,
TJ

 

“Food as Medicine” Notes:

Aubergine or Eggplant: Researchers at the US Agricultural Service in Beltsville, Maryland, have found that eggplants are rich sources of phenolic compounds that function as antioxidants. Plants form such compounds to protect themselves against oxidative stress from exposure to the elements, as well as from infection by bacteria and fungi.

The good news concerning eggplant is that the predominant phenolic compound found in all varieties tested is chlorogenic acid, which is one of the most potent free radical scavengers found in plant tissues. Benefits attributed to chlorogenic acid include antimutagenic (anti-cancer), antimicrobial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and antiviral activities. Learn more!

Did you know?

High Phenolic Olive Oil: When the EU introduced the Health Claim Labelling Regulation 432-2012, it essentially classified a new category of olive oil certified for its health benefits. Since then, hundreds of olive oil producers from Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Australia and America (California)  are changing their harvest times and methods to maximise the health-protective phenolic compounds in their olive oil. This year, four olive oil competitions awarded extra virgin olive oils according to their phenolic content as measured by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). This is good news for consumers who want to find natural source superfoods to add to their daily diet for optimal health.

Seaweed Fertiliser:
With  60 trace minerals and ready-to-use nutrients including nitrogen, potassium, phosphate, and magnesium this is a natural and readily available bonus here by the sea. Seaweed also contains hormones to encourage plant growth. Unlike other garden amendments, such as manure, seaweed does not need to decompose before being a benefit to your garden. Learn more!

 

Let Aristoleo introduce you to EVOOs certified for health promoting polyphenols. — “Tasted, Tested & True”

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