an ovo-lacto vegetarian dish
For the sake of those who don't know: Aubergine is synonymous to eggplant. They're literally the same thing. Whatever variety you're talking about--whether it's the long kind, the short kind, the fat kind, or the round kind, the two terms may be used interchangeably. I personally like to "Aubergine" to avoid the old ovo-botanical confusion.
I made this dish a couple of weeks ago and posted a photo of it along with a couple of other lunch items. It was far from perfect but I didn't really intend to show it off so I didn't care that it looked like burnt wood.
This one, however, is divine! It looks like oven-fresh cheese pizza and it tastes like heaven! The best part it's really, really healthy! Bear with the exclamation marks here; I'm on a roll! If you want to know what I'm talking about, go ahead and read the recipe so you could cook this yourself!
If you follow this recipe strictly, you will come up with a pie thingy that serves:
- 4 people with a decent appetite and nothing else on their table,
- 2 heavy eaters, or
- 8 people with a lot else to choose from
You will need:
- 3 large long aubergines--the Asian kind (If you don't have the large, long Asian ones, any variety will do as long as they don't exceed a total weight of 375 grams.)
- 5 eggs, beaten (Try to get the free range organic ones if you can.)
- 1 cup of grated melting cheese (It must say "suitable for vegetarians" if it is because if it doesn't, it's definitely not.)
- 2 medium sized western tomatoes (or 3 regular Roma/Bangalore tomatoes), peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium sized onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley leaves, chopped (1 teaspoon if dried)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt and black pepper for seasoning
- non-stick frying pan
- oven (a real one, not a microwave oven)
- boat or casserole dish (optional)
Let's get cooking!
You need to work on precooking the aubergines before anything else.
1. You may do it the convenient way by parboiling them for a good 10 minutes or until they become very soft. You can also do it the cumbersome but awesome Filipino way by cooking them over a barbecue or live fire.
2. Chop off the stems and sepals. If you grilled them, the skins will have burnt so you need to remove them, too. However, if you just boiled them, to remove the skins or not is a choice.
3. Chop the aubergines to about inch-long pieces.
Sautéing & Simmering of Ingredients:
Now let's proceed to the actual cooking process.
4. Begin by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil on your non-stick pan.
5. Drop in your onion and garlic and sweat them for about 30 seconds.
6. Add in the tomatoes along with the parsley and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
7. Pour about ¼ cup of water and stir in the aubergine. Make sure you mix the ingredients properly.
8. Season with salt & pepper to your palate's delight.
9. Cover and simmer very gently for about 7 minutes and then turn off the heat.
Making the Frittata (A or B, just pick one):
A. After simmering, there are two ways you can go about the next few steps. You can either use the same pan or you could use a casserole dish. I'll teach you the pan method first.
10. Preheat your oven to 200°C or about 390°F.
11. Pour the beaten eggs into the pan along with the cheese. Stir to mix everything properly. If you're wondering whether you should include the shell or not, don't! Duh!
12. Put the lid on to cover. Turn on the heat with low intensity and leave it to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure not to exceed that time. If the base burns, it's your fault!
13. Turn off the heat and transfer the pan to your oven. Yes, the whole thing! Bake it for about 10 to 15 minutes. Before sliding it into the oven, though, it's a good idea to fold the edges backward and tuck them a little bit underneath to make it look like a thick pizza crust.
14. Remove it from the oven and serve.
As an option, you may sprinkle a bit more grated cheese on top of the frittata and place it under a hot grill for about 2 minutes to melt and brown the cheese a little bit.
B. Now, this is for the kitchen divas who would rather use boats or casserole dishes.
10. Preheat your oven to 190°C or about 375°F.
11. Pour all of the pan's contents onto your boat or casserole dish.
12. Add in the beaten eggs along with the cheese. Stir well to mix everything properly.
13. When your oven becomes hot, slide the boat or casserole dish in (without any lid) and bake it for about 25 to 30 good minutes.
14. Remove from the oven and serve.
You have the same option as the pan method. You know... The cheese sprinkle thingy.
Here's another photo. This time, on a boat dish: