For a quick go to antipasti or starter….this wins every time. It’s so quick it’s ridiculous! Not to mention how yummy! Your guests will be super impressed too! A delicious fusion that I think changes two of my favorites into something even more magical!
3-4 ripe tomatoes
4-5 medium Aubergine/eggplants
Big bunch of mint
Big bunch of parsley
Lemon (zest & juice)
20g Parmigiano cheese
A sprinkle of Dukkah
Fresh bocconcini (1 per person)
-Using a food processor or a mortar and pestle crush the cashews, basil Parmigiano cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and mint together. You need to add as much olive oil as you like. I like it to be fluid but not too runny! This is totally up to you! A lemon cheek and a little zest brings out all the flavor in the pesto. And the cashews work so well too!
-Set this aside while you get on with the rest of the dish. (BTW this is great in pastas too)
-First things you want to do is grill your Aubergines/eggplants. I never salt mine I think that’s pointless. With the skins on slice them into 1cm slices. Using a grill pan if you have, add a splash of olive oil to the pan and not the veg. The Eggplants are like sponges and you don’t want to put oil on them. Just on the pan. Season them with salt and pepper then grill away.
-They usually take around 3-5minutes on medium heat. You want those deadly grill marks to show before you turn them over…so be patient.
-Whilst you are grilling you can slice your ripe tomatoes, also into 1cm pieces. Season and leave until you are ready to plate.
-Onto plates or boards….whatever you are using! Start with an Aubergine then a smear of your delish pesto and then slice of tomato. Keep layering until you are happy, I usually do 3 layers so I can pop a bocconcini ball ontop of each one. But you can go as high as you like.
-To finish it off, and make it look beautiful-obviously!!! I skewer the little stacks with a Rosemary twig that i have sharpened at the end. It helps hold everything together too. But you can use wooden skewers if you don’t have Rosemary.
-Garnish these beauties with fresh basil, mint, a glug of balsamic and a dusting of Dukkah. (See #callieanncooksonline for the recipe)
NB: Best eaten with a crisp glass of Vino!