Fried eggplant with lamb chops and skordalia with fresh herbs
( SERVES 6 )
Photo by Tam West
This recipe uses my version of the garlicky Greek sauce which is traditionally made with ground almonds or mashed potatoes. I opted for the great potatoes at the market. It makes an excellent dip with warm flatbread or an accompaniment to barbecued fish or chicken. In this recipe I salt the eggplant slices, not to get rid of bitterness (modern eggplant varieties aren’t bitter) but to collapse the spongy texture a bit so the eggplant slices don’t soak up too much oil when frying. The lamb chops need to cooked quickly over high heat until well browned. If cooked too long they can be tough.
For the skordalia
|2 Tbsp||Chopped parsley|
|6 Tbsp||Extra virgin olive oil|
|3 medium||Floury potatoes, I recommend Agria, peeled and boiled in salted water until soft, well drained and well mashed|
|½ cup||Milk, warm|
|1 dash||Lemon juice, to taste|
|1 sprinkle||Salt, to taste|
For the eggplant
|2 Ltr||Cold water|
|2||Eggplant, sliced into 1cm thick rounds|
|1 sprinkle||Flour, for dusting|
|1 drizzle||Vegetable oil, for frying|
For the lamb
To make the skordalia
- Put the garlic, parsley and oil into a small food processor and process until green and smooth.
- Put the warm potatoes into a bowl and add the garlic mixture and milk. Mix well and season with salt and enough lemon juice to give it a little tartness but not enough to turn it into a lemon sauce. Reserve.
To make the eggplant
- Place water and salt in a large bowl and stir to dissolve. Place eggplant in the salted water and cover with a dinner plate to keep them submerged. Reserve for 30 minutes, drain well and dry on paper towels.
- Heat ½ cm of oil in a large frying pan over moderate heat. Dust the eggplant lightly in flour and fry side by side until golden brown on each side. Do this in batches and don’t have the heat too high or the insides won’t be cooked before the outsides are brown. They should be seen and heard to be frying gently. Remove to a tray, cover with paper towels and place in a 160C oven to keep warm.
To make the lamb
- Very finely chop the garlic, rosemary and parsley with ½ teaspoon salt and place in a large bowl with the oil. Mix well, add the lamb and mix well again, turning the chops over so they are coated with the herb and oil mixture.
- Heat a frying pan or barbecue over high heat and fry or barbecue the lamb until well browned — about 3 minutes on each side for medium (pink and juicy but just cooked through, the length of time will vary depending on the thickness of the chops).
- Remove from the heat and serve on the warm eggplant slices with a dollop of skordalia on top and basil and parsley leaves and the lemon wedges on the side.
More recipes inspired by the Whangarei Grower's market