We’re fortunate enough, thanks to Him Outdoors, to have lots of home-grown tomatoes, aubergines and basil at the moment and this Italian recipe makes the most of them.
An excellent summer lunch, it’s quick and easy and got polished off in record time when we had friends staying at the weekend. With a few extra salads and some good bread it would shine as the centre point of a vegetarian meal.
2-3 large aubergines
5-6 large tomatoes (preferably beefsteak type)
1-2 balls of mozzarella, cut into rings
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
A small bunch of basil
Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7.
Slice the ends off the aubergines and tomatoes and discard. Cut the remainder into 1.5 cm slices.
Whisk up the oil and vinegar with salt and pepper to taste and brush over the aubergine and tomato slices.
Put the aubergines on a lightly-oiled baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Turn them over, brush again with the dressing and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Using the same tray, bake the tomato slices for four or five minutes until softened. Remove from the oven.
Layer up the ingredients – a slice of aubergine, a slice of tomato, a slice of mozzarella, a basil leaf, another slice of tomato, another slice of cheese, finishing with another piece of aubergine. Keep making little stacks until you’ve used everything up. If they’re a bit wobbly, skewer them in place with cocktail sticks.
Put them back in the oven for another 5-6 minutes until they’re heated through again and the cheese is melting.
Plate them up and drizzle any remaining dressing over the top. Scatter with a few basil leaves and serve.