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My new favourite sandwich (What! Aubergines again?!)

Last week, (or was it two weeks ago?) the three of us went to Cafe Turtle. I've never particularly fond of the place. Yes, they do a decent lemon cake and apple pie but everything is rather soda-ey or eggy. Nonetheless N1 and N2 were already there before I arrived.

N1 had ordered an Italian sandwich, N2, a salad and I ordered a Penne with pesto. When our orders arrived, my pasta looked like it had been watered down and the pesto looked milky and grainy. When I tasted it, it tasted exactly like grass. I mean freshly-cut grass. It felt as if they'd taken a handful of coriander, a cupful of grass and cream and blended it together. I had to send it back

N1's sandwich though was exactly the opposite. I mean, it was delicious. An open sandwich with a slice of roasted aubergine and tomato on a baguette. Well-made and perfectly executed it was truly a treat to eat. When they brought back my pasta 're-done', it still tasted grassy and I ordered for the same sandwich.

Here's the thing, when I eat something new, I always land up dissecting it in my head - the flavours, the texture - and I'm always trying to figure out how to make it even better. I always have aubergine lying around at home and once in 10 days get a large pack of basil leaves. Ratatouille is my comfort food.

Anyhoo, I felt that if I could mix in those flavours (of the Ratatouille, that is) it would be pretty awesome. So a little bit of paprika, a dollop of goat's cheese and some basil leaves just took this sammy to another level. And this exactly what we had for dinner tonight.

Open-faced roasted aubergine sandwich ©Nimpipi 

Open-faced Roasted Aubergine Sandwich with Goat's cheese and Basil

Serves 2

1 large rouind Aubergine
Olive oil
1 large tomato
30 gms goat's cheese
10 basil leaves
1 loaf of  long bread - baguette or garlic loaf or ciabatta

1. Pre-heat open to 400 degree Centigrade. Cut then aubergine in thick round circles, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Roast for half an hour or until the aubergine soften. Remove let it cool.

2. Cut the bread diagonally and brush with olive oil. Cut the tomatoes in thick slices. Wash and dry the basil leaves.

3. On a slice of bread, arrange a slice of aubergine on top, followed by a slice of tomato. Dollop on some goat's cheese, some basil leaves and sprinkle on some salt. Grill for a couple of minutes until the bottom crispens and drizzle with olive oil.

4. Serve warm with freshly ground pepper.

Note: I've been asked whether this can be made without an oven. Yes, very easily. Roast the aubergine on a flat pan or a tawa till it soften. And for the final grilling, use the flat plan with the flame on low and cover with a lid, to create steam for grilling. Might take a little longer, but will have the same great taste.

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  1. Looks and sounds delicious. I bet this helped you get over the grassy pesto pasta :-)

    Aparna from Square Meals

  2. Hahaha Aparna,totally! Never going back to Turtle again. Truly god-awful place

  3. how does someone mess up a pesto? those people should close shop..

    The sandwich looks delicious.There is a romance in eating a roasted aubergine!! there is!

    1. Exactly what I told those guys, infact I even offered to make them stuff. Really disappointing. I <3 roasted aubergines!

  4. 1. N1 & N2; clever, aren't we? :)

    2. Why you didn't tweak pics a bit?

    3. Cafe Turtle ka baingan sammich is good. (Unlike their most chindi serving of that toffee sauce with, what is was it -- carrot cake?) Still, I'm not orfering any more auberginaan there again. Why should i pay for that when yours (free:P)yday was MU-HUCH better, fresher, more basil-ly and chilgoza sameit. I give you thump on back, George Crooney.

    1. Date and walnut cake I think. Bhai abhi toh am figuring out Photoshop, this picasa is another ball game, but see I put photo one in Polaroid for special effect.

    2. quite sweet only, polaroid effect.

      haan, correct. date and walnut. eggy/ soda0y, huh? never agian then. i think you've done a mint= toothpaste in chocolate on me.

      also, why are you figuring out photoshop when picassa's already downloaded?? oof. nevmind.

    3. Photoshop at office, Picassa at home. The mind is boggled. Boggled, I say.