This is a wonderful antipasto, an aubergine salad flavoured with garlic and vinegar. Success depends upon the frying –the aubergines must not be greasy.
Slice the aubergines lengthways and arrange them in a wide colander. Scatter over plenty of salt and put a plate on top. Place a heavy weight on the plate and leave them for 1 hour to drain out all their bitter juices.
Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 195°C (385°F). Meanwhile, drain, wash and dry the aubergine slices. Fry them quickly in the oil until crisp and golden, then drain on kitchen paper and cool.
When they are cold, arrange one layer in an ovenproof dish. Scatter with vinegar, oregano and all the garlic and season well. Cover with more aubergines and this time add vinegar and oregano. Place a lid or aluminium foil on the dish and bake in a hot oven (180°C, 350°F, gas mark 4) for 20 minutes. Serve tepid or cold.
© 1995 Valentina Harris. All rights reserved.