Fat slices of caramelised aubergine that are creamy in the middle, dripping with melted mozzarella and offer a flavour punch of sun-dried tomato. Add the show-stopping ingredient, rosemary salt, and you’ve got a vegetable dish from heaven! You don’t have to be a vegetarian to find this aubergine, buffalo mozzarella and sun-dried tomato stack absolutely mouth-watering.
Recipe by Caro de Waal
Photograph by Justin Fox and Hein van Tonder
Aubergine, buffalo mozzarella and sun-dried tomato stack
- 2 large aubergines
- 15ml (1 tbsp) Khoisan Sea Salt
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- 100ml cooking olive oil
- 200g buffalo mozzarella, cut into thick slices
- 100g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
- 30ml (2 tbsp) fresh rosemary
- 60ml (¼ cup) Khoisan Sea Salt
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Remove the tops and bottom stems of the aubergines and cut into slices of about 2cm – 3cm thickness. Sprinkle with the 15ml (1 tbsp) Khoisan Sea Salt and some cracked black pepper.
Heat a large pan over medium heat, add 25ml (5 tsp) of the olive oil and fry the slices from 1 aubergine on both sides, turning only once, until nicely browned. Add another 25ml (5 tsp) olive oil when turning, as aubergines absorb a lot of oil. Repeat with the second aubergine.
Place the aubergines on a baking tray, top with the mozzarella slices and bake until the cheese is nicely melted and the aubergines have a creamy centre, about 10 minutes. Leave the oven on.
To stack, place the largest aubergine slice at the bottom, followed by 1 or 2 sun-dried tomatoes. Repeat the process until the smallest slice is at the top and end off with a layer of sun-dried tomato. Return to the oven to warm through, 5 minutes.
Pull the rosemary leaves off the stalk and place on a wooden board with the 60ml (¼ cup) salt. Chop it all together until the rosemary is fine and it is well combined. Sprinkle the stack with rosemary sea salt to serve.
Cook's tip: You can also mix your herbs – try half thyme and half rosemary.