Right... I'm referring to Aubergine aka Eggplant. One of my favourite is Nasu (Japanese Eggplant), a small, thinner skin, fast cooking, sweeter and it's purple, one of my favourite colour! Nasu can be fried, grilled, steamed, simmered, pickle and lovely in curries. If you're health conscious, beware that aubergines absorb oil quickly and use lots of oil when frying them. Also, it's important to soak cut pieces in salted water to avoid discolouration and some cooks claimed that salt removes the bitterness of aubergine.
I'm not sure of the latter solution though... because I seldom salted them unless I was distracted and need to leave my kitchen for some time. I would cut the aubergine the last and dumped the pieces straight into the pan after frying the basic ingredients. Furthermore, I love bitter vegetables - one of my favourite is the Bittergourd (Mormodica Charantia) and you can learn of its usage not only as food but as preventive cure as well.
It's a simple and light dish and I need to use up what's left over before my next shopping. I have this idea in my mind for sometime to use the 2 packs of Dodoni Feta cheeses. I love feta cheese... I bought 1 kg of feta from a cheese shop in front of Athens' Agora @ Athinas Street (Athens Central Market) to Belgium tucked nicely inside my luggage during my last trip :-P I love the way the Greeks kept their feta in large barrels and cut them up in slabs for sale. For me, Feta must be PDO (kind of AOC) from Greece... :-D I think Ivy would agreed with me on that!
Grilled Nasu With Smoked Bacon and Feta
2 pcs medium size Japanese Eggplants (Nasu)
4 slices Smoked Bacon
100 g - 150 g Feta (more if you like... :-P )
Few sprigs of Italian flat Parsley
Good amount of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Heat oven to 200ºC.
2. Chopped the parsley finely - set aside.
3. Crumble or cubed the feta cheese in a bowl.
4. Wash the aubergines and cut them into halves lengthwise. Place them in a deep dish.
5. Add Salt, generous amount of Olive oil and fresh grinded pepper to taste.
6. Grilled at 200ºC at middle rack for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven.
7. Roll the smoked bacon around the grilled aubergine. ( I use a spoon to turn the aubergineand chopsticks to fold the smoked bacon around but you can use your own method to do so).
8. Spread the crumbled feta and parsley on top; using the top heat, continue to grill for 10 minutes or until bacon is crispy and feta nicely browns. Serve with extra Olive oil by the side or salad.
Note: I didn't rolled the smoked bacon with the aubergine for 1 st grilling and added the feta only at last minutes of grilling to avoid overcooking the Japanese eggplants and the feta browns too quickly. I prefer that way... :-)