Crispy Aubergine Puttanesca
Aubergine is one of my favourite vegetables! It’s delicious and so incredibly versatile. For this recipe, we’re salting it first, to draw out some of the moisture, then breading and frying it to golden brown perfection. The result is an incredibly crispy piece of aubergine with a soft, juicy centre. Paired with a chunky puttanesca sauce, it makes for a very delicious veggie centrepiece, especially when served on a large platter and topped with lots of grated parmesan and fresh parsley.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 6 1x
- 2 round aubergines (or double the amount of standard large aubergines)
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 anchovy fillets, minced
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 100g kalamata olives, halved
- 2 tbsp capers
- 2 x 400g tins good-quality plum tomatoes, crushed
- 30g fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 150g plain flour
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 300g panko breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil
- handful grated parmigiano reggiano
- Slice your aubergines into 2cm-thick rounds and arrange in a single layer across two large wire racks set over large baking trays. Generously sprinkle with salt on both sides and set aside while you move onto the sauce.
- Heat a splash of extra-virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan set over a medium heat. Add the garlic, chilli flakes and anchovies and cook, stirring almost constantly, for 1 minute, then add the olives, capers and tinned tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until thickened, 35 to 45 mins.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, add half of the parsley and adjust the salt level, to your liking. Set aside.
- Place the flour and eggs in two separate shallow bowls and season each with salt and pepper. Place the panko in a third bowl.
- By this point, the aubergine will have released lots of water. Pat the rounds dry with kitchen towel, gently pressing out any excess moisture.
- Dredge the aubergine rounds in the flour, then the egg, then the panko breadcrumbs, pressing to ensure the rounds are fully coated on both sides. Note: the coating won’t stick to the aubergine skin.
- Heat a centimetre or two of vegetable oil in a large frying pan set over a medium heat. Working in batches, cook the aubergines for 5 minutes, flipping once halfway through then transfer to a wire rack to drain. You can keep them warm in a low oven while you make the rest.
- Reheat your sauce then it’s time to assemble. Spread the sauce onto a large platter, top the aubergine rounds and finish with grated parmesan and the remaining parsley – enjoy!