Baked Sicilian Eggplants

, from Issue #59. April, 2016
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Baked Sicilian Eggplants

Eggplant loves gutsy flavours but does need to be really well cooked so it develops a rich, luscious texture – under-cooked eggplant is very unpleasant to eat. 

Serves: 4


2 large oval purple eggplants
4 large vine tomatoes, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly 
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey

small handful parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts, roasted 
2 tablespoons capers
zest 1 lemon
2 spring onions, sliced thinly 
sea salt and ground pepper

To serve
thick plain yoghurt 


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Using a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the eggplants snugly (once halved), line it fully with baking paper and drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cut the eggplants in half lengthways, keeping the stem end intact. Place each half flesh side down on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut 5 long slits from below the stem to the base. 

Place the eggplants cut side down in the baking dish. Place 2 slices of tomato in each slit, then poke in the garlic.

Stir the oil, vinegar and honey together and season generously. Spoon it over the eggplants, letting it run down into the slits.

Bake for about 40-50 minutes, basting every 15 minutes with the pan juices, until very tender. Cool until just warm or to room temperature.

Topping: Roughly chop the parsley, pine nuts, capers and zest together then mix in the spring onions. Season. 

To serve: Dollop spoonfuls of yoghurt over the top of the eggplants, then scatter over the topping.