Aubergines, LEEKs, Haloumi and a few other things!
I have to credit my Facebook and Tasmanian based friend, Dillon Kesur for this recipe.
I am not a vegetarian, far from it, as some of these postson my blog will attest, but I am currently hosting a delicious young French lady, on exchange from the French Film School Louis Lumière, where my son spent a year in 2012/13, and she is vegetarian, which means we had to adjust our menus ...just so slightly.
And Dillon came to the rescue unexpectedly in the form of a FB post with this delicious recipe:
Dillon was born in Fiji and is blessed with Irish and Indian heritage and is very keen on growing his own food, bake his own bread and grace his Facebook page for our pleasure and "émerveillement' with beautiful photos and recipes of his daily experiments and adventures in food, wine and life in general.
A convicted romantic, he also shares with us his love for his family, good music and Leunig cartoons.
Certainly a "gentilhomme" in the Renaissance meaning of the word! We have not met yet in person but it is only "partie remise", and what a party it promises to be!
So without further delay, here is Dillon's recipe and my photos of my own implementation:
Firstly slice and slowly cook 2 onions in olive oil. Adding Salt and Pepper (careful with the salt because haloumi is quite salty). When they are soft (approx. 15 mins) add 1 large sliced leek , 2 cloves of garlic sliced and a ½ cup of chopped oven dried tomatoes.
I used two leeks, crushed the garlic and didn't chop the sundries tomatoes - but I should have!
Once the leeks are soft and cooked, I mixed ½ cup of leftover cooked rice and ¼ of a cup cream. Any other cooked grain or lentil would be nice as well. Stir well.
Comment: I kept the rice and cream, as well as the sundered tomatoes until I assembled the dish
While leeks are cooking, thinly slice an aubergine lengthways. Next time I’ll use 2, because it needs to be the star ingredient. Brush the slices with olive oil, then grill them till brown on both sides.
Comment: I used three aubergines because of the size of my dish and ended up with enough for 8 people - 2 meals for four people - my daughter unfortunately missed out...
Butter and line an earthen ware dish with the aubergines, cover gaps with more dried toms, then spoon in a little of the leek mixture . Layer with thin slices of haloumi, torn bocconcini and a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan. Build alternate layers , finishing with the cheeses. Fold over aubergine flaps on top (see pic) Cover with foil and lid.
Comment: I used olive oil instead of butter...
Comment: Slice the aubergines and the haloumi as thin as you can, so you can build three layers - I managed only two...
I would use more rice and cream, and I am not sure I would use bocconcinis and parmesan again as I don't think it adds anything significant.
I had the oven preheated at 220C. Baked for 10 minutes then reduced the heat to 170c for a further 45 minutes. Unmould onto a plate carefully after resting for 10 mns.
Comment: The whole thing was ready in 45 mns, but obviously that depends on your oven. Check from time to time and you will know when it is ready - the smell will be a proper giveaway!
Unmould on a big enough plate - try not to burn your fingers in the process. Slice at the table to serve!
Drink a Valpolicella Superiore or a nice Côtes du Rhone and be merry!
Again a great thank you to Dillon for what is essentially our first guest post. Stay tuned for more!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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