We love Rick Stein’s cooking and his appreciation of the food of other cultures so we're pretty sure he won’t mind that we were inspired by his Turkish Style Eggplants in a recent publication and just had to adapt it to include our lovely native ingredients to give it that extra pizzazz! A great dish which showcases them beautifully.
Serves 4 and more!
4 small whole eggplant, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 middle rashers bacon, sliced into slim batons (optional if you prefer vegetarian or vegan)
1 leek. Cleaned and finely sliced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
Zest of 1 lemon
1 jar Outback Spirit Bush Tomato Chutney
2 teaspoons Bush Tomatoes
1 teaspoon Mountain Pepper
1 teaspoon Lemon Myrtle
1/2 teaspoon Saltbush
½ bunch coriander, chopped
Tasmanian Pepper Salt to taste (or black pepper and salt to taste)
120g goats cheese (optional if you prefer vegetarian or vegan - substitute with appropriate vegan cheese)
1/4 jar Outback Tomato Chutney
For the sauce
1 small (400g) can crushed tomatoes
3/4 jar Outback Tomato Chutney
1 lemon, zest and juice
Preheat oven to 200c
Sit each eggplant on the bench and determine which is the ‘top’ after they come to rest. Using a sharp knife make a wide slit in each of the eggplants and using a dessertspoon scoop out the flesh, making sure you leave a good layer of eggplant flesh intact (approx 1-2cm).
In a saucepan heat the olive oil and add the garlic and onion and sauté until tender. Add the bacon, leek and tomato and cook for a further 2-3 minutes
Add the 1/4 jar of Outback Tomato Chutney, the native herbs and the lemon zest and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and the texture is ‘gooey’.
Remove from the heat and fold through the chopped coriander and season with Tasmanian Pepper Salt, to taste.
Half fill each eggplant and then add half the goats cheese evenly amongst the eggplants. Complete filling the eggplants with the Outback Tomato flavoured mixture and top with the remaining goats cheese.
Mix the crushed tomatoes with the remaining Outback Tomato Chutney and the lemon zest and juice.
Spoon into the base of a casserole or baking dish and place the prepared eggplants onto the sauce.
Cook in the oven for 1 hour or until the eggplants are completely cooked and tender. We like to baste the eggplants half way through with the sauce.
By the time the eggplants are fully cooked and exquisitely tender you will find the sauce will be reduced and thick. Serve immediately with the sauce.
Accompany with a rocket and iceberg salad with fresh ripe pear, shaved parmesan and aged balsamic vinegar - heavenly!
copyright Juleigh Robins, used with permission