With the incessant stream of visitors into London lately, it has been a busy few days catching up with my friend James. If you have followed this blog for a while you will have likely seen James when we first met in New Zealand through the wonderful site that is Couchsurfing in 2012. Its a little crazy to think that we have only spent time together a few times and we don’t stay in regular touch that we come together and this friendship is one of the most stable in my life.
The energy James enthuses through every aspect of his life is addictive to be around and it was so great to catch up and meet some of the other people he is currently in business with. Their passion and drive leading us to drink more beer in the last three days then I have in the last two months was worth it because that energy is something I wish was a more consistent feature in my life.
This recipe came from a trip to a very popular steakhouse here in London after a friend suggested we visit for our catch up dinner. I had never heard of this little spot where queues line the narrow street. We arrived early enough to only have to wait fifteen minutes, a precariously short time in comparison with the time given to the people at the door when we left two hours later (two-and-a-half hours for a table for four).
The side to go with my burger was an eggplant layered dish that sounded great, but the first bite of this was so addictive I came home and made something similar, but healthier within a week and then remade it and remade it again just the same because this is that good.
Its the saltiness of the sundried tomatoes that pair perfectly with the rest of the dish and lets be fair, fresh mozzarella is a gold member ingredient to add subtle flavor to any dish. Somehow this all works incredibly well and will be a staple in my kitchen for summers to come. Whilst it isn’t super pretty, the taste is worth it.
Note: The images were updated in early 2018.
Eggplant with Sundried Tomato and Mozzarella
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered and halved
2 eggplants, ends removed and cubed
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 large fresh mozzarella ball, torn
Fresh torn basil to serve
Place the onion and garlic in a pan with olive oil and cook on medium heat until cooked, approximately 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook for a two minutes then cover.
Cook for 3 minutes then add the cubed eggplant, stirring and adding a little olive oil and 2 tablespoons water.
Cook covered for 10 minutes, until the eggplant is soft, stirring every minute or so to ensure the mixture doesn’t burn, adding a little oil and water as necessary.
Once the eggplant is soft, add the sundried tomatoes with two tablespoons of sundried tomato oil, stirring to combine.
Allow to cook uncovered for another minute.
Remove from the heat and sprinkle the torn mozzarella over the mixture evenly. Allow to sit for 2 minutes for the cheese to melt a little.
Serve immediately with torn basil.