martedì 1 maggio 2018

Crocchette di melanzane - Aubergine 'Crocchette'

This is a Sicilian dish I have always loved to make, but I didn't have a precise recipe. Not because my Sicilian friends want to keep their recipes for themselves. They are generous by nature and culture, but they are simply unable to write them down. They cook following their inspiration and feelings. I watched them making their aubergine crocchette, but I needed to measure ingredients and time in order to share the recipe with everybody.

The aubergines are so shining and firm at the vegetable market in these days that I decide to make my crocchette,  inspired by my memory. I cut the flesh and bake them for 30 minutes.

I peel them and chop the flesh, that is still a bit watery.

I put the flesh in a big colander and leave it to drain while I prepare the other ingredients. Then I mix them all, including two eggs that I forgot to include in the picture, and I put the mixture in the fridge, to leave the ingredients to combine. This step is important to make a firmer mixture.

With my hands, I mould the crocchette the size of a nut, I coat them with breadcrumbs and arrange them on an oiled parchment I lined the oven tin with. I bake them and serve warm. No leftovers to take a picture of.

Crocchette di melanzane
Aubergine “Crocchette”

800 g aubergines
150 g freshly grated pecorino cheese
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
A good handful of flat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 teaspoon of capers in salt
120 g homemade breadcrumbs plus enough to coat the crocchette
Sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Serves 5 to 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes plus 30 minutes resting
Cooking time: 50 minutes

1. Make few cuts on the aubergines’ skin.

2. Arrange the vegetables in an oven tin and bake for 30 minutes, until tender.

3. Remove the skin, finely chop the flesh and leave to drain it in a colander for 20 minutes.

4. Place the flesh in a bowl. Incorporate the eggs and the cheese.

5. Put the parsley, the garlic and the capers in a small blender and blend into a smooth mixture.

6. Combine the parsley mixture to the aubergine.

7. Adjust the seasoning.

8. Leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

9. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

10. With your hands, mould small balls, the size of a nut.

11. Coat the balls with breadcrumbs and arrange in an oven tin, greased with oil.

12. Bake for 10 minutes. With a wooden spoon, turn the balls and bake for another 10 minutes.

13. Serve warm.

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