Eggplant Recipe - Tessa (Cape Town)

August 31, 2011

This is the fourth week of our guest blog series to compare other parts of the world while Charlotte is visiting Canada for August & September. Our guests this week are foodies Tessa from Cape Town & Dan from Calgary.

This recipe was inspired by a friend of Tessa's who used to work at an awarding winning restaurant in Cape Town. They used to make a pickled aubergine pate and pair it with horseradish cream and beetroot. Tessa thought the pate idea was brilliant and after making it, She realised just how versatile it can be. She decided it would make a wonderful compliment to a newfound favourite appetiser of hers - Socca. This is essentially a thin pancake-like flatbread made from chickpea or “channa” flour. It comes out of the pan crispy and hard- perfect for a deliciously rich, creamy topping like a pate! With the sneaky addition of whole roasted garlic cloves and some fresh wild Arugula- this little appetiser could even be enjoyed as a meal in itself.

1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
3Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Method: combine the flour and salt with the water and oil whisking the mixture until a smooth batter forms. Allow to rest for an hour. Heat a non-stick pan on high until it begins to smoke. Pour some of the batter into the pan and allow to cook like a pancake. Once the pancake starts to bubble and brown at the edges, flip over and cook the other side. The socca will look charred and begin to harden. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. 

Pickled Aubergine pate
2 aubergines
2.5 cups water
2.5 cups vinegar
1.5 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp dried aregano
2 peppercorns
150g Crème fraiche
Method: Combine the water, vinegar, salt and peppercorns in a pot and bring to the boil. Meanwhile cut the aubergines into rounds. Add the aubergines to the pot and bring down the heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 45mins. Meanwhile preheat oven to 200 degrees C and pop a bulb of garlic into the oven to roast (this is optional). Once the aubergines are pickled, drain them in a colander and spread onto a large baking tray. Roast them in the oven for another 45mins. They will soften and lose their shape. Once done, allow to cool. Add them to the crème fraiche and incorporate well to get a good pate consistency. Remove the garlic bulb from the oven and squeeze the flesh from the cloves. Set these aside.
To assemble: spread some of the pate onto the crisp socca, top with small pieces of (or whole!) roasted garlic cloves and to finish, garnish with some fresh green baby Arugula. So easy, so quick, and so delicious!

Tessa grew up on a farm in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province and graduated from culinary school in 2008. Recently she decided to go back to school to study journalism. She lives at the foot of Table Mountain in the beautiful city of Cape Town, also fondly known as the "Mother city". She says, "Come and visit!".

You can follow her on twitter @T_Purdon, read her blog girlwithateacup, or email her at tessapurdon(at)gmail(dot)com

1 comment:

  1. Looks so delicious Tessa - I can't wait to try this out. Maybe Chelsea and I will have to get together one night and try it!