Aubergine Burrata with Basil Infused Olive Oil: I made this dish a couple of times this Autumn with mozzarella and feta, but after a sneaky trip to Venice, I made it again with the real thing, Burrata, and it was terrific. Burrata is not easy to find locally, so it was a big treat.
Aubergines are still readily available in the market here due to the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having. I still have a few left, so I will try to make (and post the recipe for) the fancy cousin to this dish, Aubergine Millefeuille, a real star of the Spanish tapas menu.
Aubergines must be fresh, or they are tasteless and watery. Basil is the preferred herb here; switch to rosemary and use it sparingly if and when basil is unavailable. This recipe requires you to toss the aubergine in a little oil. Ensure you lightly coat the slices; you want to seal them before grilling.
The sauce is rich and reduced, sweetened by the red peppers. If you are unhappy with the sweetness, add a little orange juice to the Aubergine Burrata.
Keep it vegetarian and serve with a green salad or curly kale tossed with lemon zest and garlic – or add a few crispy grilled lamb chops lightly dusted with a pinch of cumin and grating of garlic before you grill. I guess at that point; it is a de-constructed moussaka!
More Vegetarian inspiration here.
Aubergine Burrata with Basil Infused Olive Oil
- 2 medium sized aubergines (approx 500g), thinely sliced to about 1cm thick
- 1 florina or sweet red pepper finely sliced
- 2 ripe tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1 medium sweet or yellow onion finely chopped
- ½-1 tbsp tomato concentrate
- 100-120 g burrata or mozzarella thinely sliced feta works well too
- 2 cloves grated garlic
- small pinch chilli flakes optional
- generous bunch fresh basil use rosemary when basil is out of season
- 100 ml olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Whizz the basil leaves (leaving a couple for decoration) with the olive oil and a pinch of salt
- Very lightly dress the aubergine slices in two thirds of the oil and half of the grated garlic. Leave to marinate for 15-20 mins.
- Saute the finely chopped onion in a little oil, add the red pepper and cook until they are soft. Add the rest of the garlic and the fresh tomatoes and continue cooking until the sauce starts to thicken. Add enough tomato concentrate and a little freshly ground black pepper and or chilli flakes (if using) to boost the flavour of the sauce but not overpower it. Continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes and when you are happy – set aside.
- Grill the aubergine slices under the grill or in a griddle pan until sealed, golden and soft. Layer the aubergine into a small baking dish and pour over the tomato sauce. Top with the sliced burrata.
- Bake in the top of the oven at 180°c until it just starts to brown and is bubbling.
- Strain the rest of the basil oil dressing and drizzle over the burrata. I forgot to do this but it is tastier and looks prettier! Garnish with basil leaves and a little grated lemon rind.
- Serve with crusty bread and salad. It is also delicous with lamb chops rubbed with garlic and lemon rind, then grilled until super crispy.