Our little vegetable garden is now producing a crop of these beautiful, shiny, purple-black aubergines.
This evening I have made one of Iaia’s best summer supper-table dishes, dark-rimmed eggplant slices in crisp beer batter. They’re great hot or cool, very easy to cook, and two medium-sized aubergines makes enough for a platter of about 20 slices.
What you do:
Slice and salt the aubergines, leaving them to leech out their excesses for about half an hour. Pat dry and set aside. Pop a couple of centimetres of oil into a wide, deep frying pan and start heating it up so that it is perfectly hot by the time you have battered.
Pour your glass of beer into a bowl and add the flour and a healthy pinch of salt, mixing it all to a gently fizzing, thick, paint-like texture. Make sure you don’t add too much flour at a go or you will have to add a whole litre of beer and then there will be a veritable bog of batter left over. Yes. I speak from experience.
Your oil should be pretty warm by now –
drop a tiny bit of batter in and if it sizzles satisfactorily you are ready to go. I use tongs to dip the aubergine slices into the batter and coat them well. Drain off a little mixture before transferring to the hot oil. Cook for a two to three minutes depending on how thickly you sliced the fruit, then flip over with care and give them another minute or two. Remove to a paper-clad plate for draining and continue until all of the eggplant is beautifully battered and fried.