Gastronomy: Aubergine pancakes with red pepper purée

Here is another recipe from Rose Elliot’s “Vegetarian Supercook”.

Vegetarian Supercook - Rose ElliotWe tried it out tonight and it’s a keeper. It would make a great canapé idea for your next barbecue or dinner party (if you are such an entertainer). They may translate into larger pancakes, but I think they are best served as a starter or finger food. The sauce is ridiculously quick if you are prepared to use bottled roasted red peppers.

Mr O is not a fan of aubergine usually, but much to my surprise he enjoyed this. I’m not sure it wasn’t the excess garlic that I tend to throw at my food that masked any possible aubergine tastes, of course. 😉

Puffy Aubergine Pancakes with Red Pepper Purée.

Vegetarian. Preparation time: 40 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour. Serves 6.

Ingredients:

1 large aubergine
1 large red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 egg
2 tablespoons fine wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons chopped oregano
olive oil for shallow frying
salt and pepper
oregano leaves or small sprigs and coarsely ground black pepper, to garnish

Method:

  1. Remove the stem from the aubergine. Put the aubergine and pepper on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated oven, 200C (400F), Gas Mark 6, for about 30 minutes, or until both are very tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Allow to cool. This can be done in advance when the oven is on for something else if convenient. You won’t need the oven any more unless you want to make the pancakes straight away and keep them warm for a short time before serving.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the onion, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Add the garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes longer, then remove from the heat.
  3. Make the red pepper purée. Pull the papery outer skin from the cooled pepper, scoop out the seeds and core from the inside and discard the stem if still attached. Put the pepper into a food processor or blender with half the onion and garlic mixture and whiz to a thick purée. Season with salt and pepper and put to one side.
  4. Rinse out the food processor and put in the roasted aubergine, the remaining onion and garlic mixture, the egg, flour, oregano and some salt and pepper to taste. Whiz to a thick batter.
  5. Just before you want to serve the pancakes, heat 2.5mm depth of olive oil in a frying pan. When it’s hot enough for a tiny speck of the batter to sizzle as soon as it hits the oil, put in heaped teaspoons of the batter mixture. Fry on one side for about 2 minutes, then flip them over and fry the other side. Take them out and put on to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Repeat until you have 18 little pancakes and all the mixture has been used up.
  6. Just before serving, gently reheat the red pepper purée. Put three pancakes on each serving plate and top each pancake with a spoonful of the red pepper purée. Garnish with oregano leaves or a sprig and some coarsely ground black pepper. Serve at once.

Notes:

This was a very tasty recipe. The times listed for preparation and cooking seem quite a bit excessive to me. I would suggest that it takes half that time in total, at most. Mind you, I only needed to bake the aubergine as I used the cheat of bottled red peppers. We didn’t wait for the aubergine to be totally cool either.
These would make a good alternative to blinis or regular pancake based finger food. They would probably take a range of toppings and sauces as well.

Bon apetit.

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