Summer HarvestBy Christine Salins
With eggplant, tomatoes, basil and baby spinach abundant in my garden right now, this recipe from Dominique Rizzo fits the bill perfectly.
Rizzo is a Queensland chef who comes from an Italian family, has written a beautiful book on Sicilian cooking and runs regular tours to the land of her father’s birth.
You might have seen her whipping up dishes at the Lindeman’s Open Garden at Floriade over the past few years, as she is Lindeman’s “chef ambassador”.
This Baked Eggplant, Goats Cheese and Tomato Olive Salad goes beautifully with Lindeman’s Early Harvest Sweet Red, a fruity, easy-drinking wine with ripe sweet berry and plum flavours and subtle spice notes.
Formerly branded Sweet Season Dulciana, it is part of Lindeman’s Early Harvest ‘Fruity’ range that also includes a Moscato and a Sweet White. There is also an Early Harvest ‘Crisp’ range.
All the Early Harvest wines are considerably lower in alcohol than most wine on the market, giving them widespread appeal in these heady post-Christmas weeks.
Baked Eggplant, Goats Cheese & Tomato Olive Salad
2 medium eggplants sliced into 2cm wide slices
2 tbsp. chopped basil
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
3 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
60g goat’s cheese
60g cream cheese
3 roma tomatoes
40g green olives, pitted and chopped
40g black olives, pitted and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
5 leaves of basil, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
40g baby spinach
12 thin slices focaccia or Turkish bread
Preheat the oven to 200 deg C.
Combine the olive oil with the basil and parsley and season with salt and pepper, using a pastry brush cover both sides of the eggplant slices with the herb oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place the slices of eggplant onto a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, turn the eggplant over and bake for another 10 minutes. Allow to cool.
Blend the goat’s cheese with the cream cheese until smooth. Deseed the tomatoes and dice into 1cm pieces, finely dice the olives and mix in with the tomatoes, add in the garlic, basil and lemon zest, blend with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
To serve place a round of eggplant onto a plate and spread with a dessert spoon of the cheese mixture, top with some of the spinach leaves and then another eggplant round. Spoon over some of the olive salsa and serve with focaccia or Turkish bread.
Recipe by Dominique Rizzo.
To find out more about Christine Salins click here.