This social platter is best eaten with a group of friends or a romantic starter for two with forks digging directly in! This platter is relaxed, effortless and calls for a glass of good wine from a rustic glass. It was love at first sight when I came across this perfect plump purple and white stripped aubergine… I knew I had to buy it because it was too darling to leave behind, so this antipasto mess inspires from this perfect eggplant.
This platter calls to be nibbled on. It builds from a variety of flavours and fresh summer ingredeients. The strong, sweet-caramel taste of the roquefort combined with the smoky aubergine intensifies with a sip of tempranillo from Spain. The flavours merry and explode in my mouth and leave an elegant long aftertaste that just makes me crave for more.
Fresh and so sweet baby Peas directly from my pea sprout on the balcony. Some of the peas have a beautiful white flower attached to them.
Begin to marinate the eggplant. Slice the eggplant in thin long slices. Place them on a plate and soak them in avocado oil, chopped parsley and black pepper for about half an hour.
Begin cooking the eggplant either on a grill or on a gas stove with a grill pan to get those beautiful imprints. I used the latter and cooked the slices on a hot pan for about 3 minutes on both sides until golden brown. Remove to the side and leave to cool.
Begin preparing the platter. Roughly place the eggplants on a chopping board. Add a pinch of finger salt on each one. On top, add sliced strawberries and crumble some blue cheese. Then add a finely sliced (half) chili and the watercress leaves. Add chopped parsley, plums and baby peas. Grind fresh black pepper and give it a good squeeze of lime in the end. Here you have it, a delicious mess of summer flavours.
A fresh squueze of lime on top brings good acidity and lightens up the platter
Wine Paring: 2004 Altos de Tamaron Ribera del Duero Reserva Fuego & Hielo
The aubergine platter has a mixture of strong flavours and the evening was rather chilly and dark so we decided to open a bottle of red wine with a lavish palate. My family adores this one and brings crates directly from Spain specifically due to its full-bodied flavour and refined long aftertaste.
It is a 2004 Altos de Tamaron Ribera del Duero Reserva Fuego & Hielo. This smooth tannin wine is a tempranillo (tinto fino or tinta del país) from Spain. It is a deep cherry red colour and works beautifully with roasts, lamb and dry crumbly manchego and jamón serrano. Ribera del Duero is a leading red wine region with Rioja and Priorat where large vineyards of tempranillo exists. As I take a piece of my aubergine mess and a sip of tamaron, the flavours unite and bring forth something new and aromatic. I taste intense fruit, spicy wood and a plush finish that lingers in the back of my mouth for quite some time.