Saturday, June 14, 2014

Winter Food: Asparagus and Eggplant Slice

One chilly fortnight into winter and so begin the hot breakfasts, brunches and late afternoon snacks. On mornings like these it's best to start slow, to begin with long, deliberate yoga stretches and to inhale deeply down into one's belly.

On one of these chilly winter mornings I whipped up this little asparagus and eggplant slice before B had even rolled out of bed. Think one tall lady, with a round belly stirring together a bizarre combination of ingredients from the fridge, pouring the whole lumpy mess into a baking dish before sliding the dish into a hot oven.

There was time to clean up and have a relaxing hot shower to soothe my aching muscles and tired eyes before the timer rang with a sweet 'ding' (lacking a bit of sleep lately due to the miniature dance sensation in my womb- Thank you, Pecan!).

The aromas of melted cheese, egg, sweet corn and bacon wafted upstairs to Byron as I stepped out of the steamy shower, my hair wrapped in a thick bath towel turban. We met at the top step before floating down to the kitchen, led by our noses.

I carefully removed the dish from the oven and lifted the freshly baked slice from the dish by the baking paper before slicing generous slabs off for breakfast.

There's something so satisfying about plunging a shiny silver fork into a hot asparagus and eggplant slice.

Asparagus and Eggplant Slice

10 asparagus spears
1/2 large or 1 small eggplant, sliced into 1cm rounds
1 small brown onion, diced
2-3 rashers of bacon, roughly chopped (optional)
1 sweet corn cob, kernels only
olive oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup gluten free self raising flour
3/4 to 1 cup grated cheese
sea salt and cracked pepper
diced chilli (optional for the chilli lovers)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350F). Snap the ends off the asparagus, cut into 1 inch lengths and parboil for 2 minutes, or until the stems turn bright green and slightly soften. Drain and set aside.
Heat a generous amount of oil in a large pan over medium heat and fry the eggplant, turning to brown on each side (alternatively, you may grill it). Chop roughly and set aside.
Sweat the diced onion until soft.

Sift the flour into a large bowl, whisk in the eggs until the batter is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and season to taste. Omit the bacon for a vegetarian slice. Pour into a baking dish lined with baking paper and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the slice is set and golden on top.

Wonderful as a chilled lunch side, but best served warm from the oven with your choice of golden hash browns, fried, buttered mushrooms with garlic and thyme or oven roasted truss tomatoes.

The soft eggplant will melt in your mouth, between juicy, firm corn kernels and buttery asparagus.

Oh! How I'd love to grow my own asparagus. Has anyone tried it?

Bella xx

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