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Appetizers Dinner Gino's Italian Escape Lunch

Melanzane alla parmigiana: Aubergine, tomato and mozzarella drizzled with a basil-infused olive oil

“This is a simple version of the classic northern Italian baked dish, melanzane alla parmigiana.”
– Gino D’Acampo

Perfect as antipasti or a light lunch with crusty bread, these elegant little stacks contain all the fresh flavours of Italy – aubergine, juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, salty Parmesan and basil-infused olive oil. Delizioso!

Serves 4 (starters/light lunch)

INGREDIENTS

– 10g fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
– 50ml extra virgin olive oil
– Salt and ground black pepper to taste
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 large aubergine, cut into 8 x 1cm thick discs
– 2 large beef tomatoes, tops and bottoms removed and each cut into 4 rounds
– A few Parmesan cheese shavings
– 2 balls of mozzarella, each cut into 4 rounds

DIRECTIONS

Put the chopped basil in a small bowl, pour over the extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and set aside to infuse.

Heat a large frying pan over a high heat and add the olive oil. Add the aubergine to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook for 90 seconds on each side or until the slices are golden brown and tender. Remove from the pan and transfer to a tray in a warm place. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook for 30 seconds on each side, then remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Place a disc of aubergine in the middle of each plate and top with some Parmesan shavings, then a tomato disc and then a mozzarella round. Repeat this pattern to finish with a slice of mozzarella. Once all four stacks are complete, drizzle over some of the basil-infused olive oil and serve.

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