Grilled courgette and aubergine salad with bocconcini
- 1 large aubergine (or 2 medium)
- 6 courgettes
- 125 ml extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- about 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely crushed
- a handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried mint (optional)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Use a mandolin cutter to finely cut the aubergine into very thin slices. The key to this dish is the thinness of the slices – it should be paper thin. Use a knife or a vegetable peeler to finely cut the courgette into strips (they can be slightly thicker than the aubergines because their texture is easier to work with). Set them aside.
In a small mixing bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice & rind, garlic and mint.
Heat a griddle pan over high heat until it is very hot – takes about 5-8 minutes. Now grill the slices of aubergine/courgettes one batch at a time (without adding any oil), not overlapping the slices, turning them once, until they have brown griddle marks on each side (it takes 1-2 minutes a side). Remove with tongs, then place them on a plate next to each other, but not overlapping. Add another batch of slices to the pan and grill.
While you are waiting for your next batch to grill, use a tablespoon to spoon some of the marinade over the grilled aubergines/courgettes on the plate, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Top with more grilled aubergines, then spoon over more marinade and season. Repeat until all the slices have been grilled and all the marinade have been spooned over. At this stage, you can cover it and refrigerate until later.
Assemble the salad: use a fork to arrange slices of the vegetables on a large platter – because they are so thin, it looks great to fold them and stack them loosely. Top with slices of bocconcini / fior di latte (fresh mozzarella), and serve with good quality fresh bread like sourdough or ciabatta. A few extra wedges of lemon and a few mint leaves complete the picture. Enjoy!