I thought the old Louis Armstrong / Ella Fitzgerald standard with the line “You say tomato I say tomahto” covered the differences between us here in Ireland and our American cousins quite well. On looking up some information on the Aubergine (or Eggplant to ye over there), I saw that it rampages in many different guises depending on where in the world you are. The list includes melongene, patlican, brinjal or guinea squash. For those interested in facts and figures, there are over 35 million tons grown each year and the plant is native to India.
A couple of them found their way into our kitchen recently and I was tempted to do something very simple and tasty with them. Clodagh McKenna’s Irish Farmers Market Cookbook has the original recipe (this is a slight variation on the theme). They make a great starter or snack meal.
Here’s how to cook the Aubergine & Goat’s Cheese Rolls
- Two aubergines.
- 200gms of goat’s cheese
- Rocket leaves
- Flaked almonds
- Black pepper
Here’s what you do
- Slice the aubergines lengthways into about five to six slices each.
- Sprinkle them with salt to extract some of the moisture. Let them stand on racks. After about 20 minutes, dab the water off with paper towels.
- Fry them on a griddle pan and put them back on the racks to cool.
- Meanwhile, toast the flaked almonds.
- Put a generous teaspoon of soft goat’s cheese and a good amount of rocket on one end of the aubergine slice and season with black pepper.
- Roll them up. Place on a serving dish and sprinkle with the almonds and any remaining rocket.
- Serve to the soon to be grateful diners.