Roman Holiday Bruschetta with Grilled Eggplant, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, Burrata and Rocket.


Last weekend we had a group of lovely friends for dinner, and as always when having a group, I couldn't help but thinking about the food as a whole and theme-ing it in my head. This was all about taking a little Roman Holiday - we started with this platter of sweet slow-roasted tomatoes; smokey grilled eggplant, peppery rocket and creamy buffalo mozzarella (next time it will be burrata as Farro the food store tell me they will soon be stocking it - yay!) on bruschetta, then moved onto spaghetti and meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, followed by vanilla rhubarb tiramisu. Often when we have a dinner like this I will think of a little tweak to make next time if I decide to do the same again (I hardly ever do, I always want to try something new!), but this time I wouldn't change a thing!

500g cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
sea salt and black pepper

1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp dried oregano
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 eggplants, sliced into 1cm thick rounds
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

400g burrata or buffalo mozarella

2 handfuls rocket leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1-2 loaves narrow ciabatta or similar - enough to cut 25 1cm thick slices
spray olive oil or 1/4 cup olive oil 

Preheat oven to 150˚C (300˚F). Line a roasting dish with baking paper and lay tomatoes out in a single layer. Drizzle with oil and vinegar and sprinkle with sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 hour 20 minutes until unbelievably sweet and densely flavoured. Store in the fridge until needed, making sure you remove them half an hour before serving so they can come to room temperature.

Next add oregano and garlic to oil and leave it to infuse while you slice the eggplants. Heat a grill pan over a medium heat and brush eggplant on both sides with  seasoned olive oil. Grill for 2-3 minutes each side until soft and cooked all the way through - test a bit to make sure as nothing is worse than undercooked eggplant! Season well with sea salt and black pepper. If you want, cut the rounds into half moons. :)

Whisk olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss through rocket leaves just before serving.

Brush or spray ciabatta slices with olive oil and grill a minute or two on each side until just coloured and slightly crispy.

On a large serving platter lay out bowls with eggplant, tomatoes, burrata, rocket leaves and bruschetta. If you like add slices of prosciutto, parma ham or bresaola too. Serves 8 as a starting platter

1 comment :

  1. this looks fantastic! can't wait to try!