Melanzane a Beccafico aka Sicilian Aubergine "Beccafico" (Vegan)
I believe food is always the best cure for homesickness, and I decided to cure mine by cooking lots of traditional Sicilian dishes, listening to Italian music, watching movies and browsing real estate websites fantasising about buying a beautiful historic flat next to the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
How are you guys coping??
You guys know how much we love aubergines in Sicily right? This is a wonderful side dish inspired by the more popular dish "sarde (sardines) a beccafico".
Roasted or fried aubergines are stuffed with a mixture of parsley, breadcrumbs, nuts and dried fruit and then baked or pan-fried. A must-use ingredient here is bay leaves, preferably fresh. They'll make the whole house smell wonderfully.
2 large aubergines
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1 large bunch of parsley
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pine nuts
18 bay leaves, fresh or dried
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
Slice the aubergines lengthwise to 5mm thickness. Place in a colander, sprinkle with salt and place a weight on them. Allow them to release the bitterness for about 20 mins. Rinse to remove excess salt.
Grill each slice on both sides and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil, add the breadcrumbs and toast till browned. Set aside. Chop parsley, raisins and pine nuts very finely and add to the breadcrumbs, seasoning with salt and pepper. This will be your stuffing.
Take a slice of aubergine and place 1 tbsp of stuffing on one extremity. Roll the slice and set aside. Repeat with all remaining slices.
Stick 3 aubergine roll ups on each skewer alternating each roll up with a bay leaf. You can now either pan fry in batches or bake with the remaining olive oil.