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    Pickled aubergine and goat's curd bruschetta

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    Pickled aubergine and goat's curd bruschetta

    Substiutute the verjuice in this recipe for apple juice and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 15 minutes plus 1-2 days marinating
    • Cooking time: 15 minutes
    • Total time: 30 minutes plus 1-2 days marinating 30 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    • For the curd
    • 450g natural goat’s milk yogurt
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • for the aubergine pickle
    • 2 aubergines, peeled and sliced lengthways, then cut into strips
    • 2 tsp sea salt
    • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, 1 chopped, 1 peeled
    • 125ml verjuice (see below)
    • 6 mint leaves, sliced
    • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    • 4 slices ciabatta bread
    • 20g wild rocket

    Method

    1. Start the curd 1 or 2 days ahead. Combine the yogurt and sea salt. Line a sieve with two pieces of muslin, then pour the yogurt mixture into the centre, bringing the edges of the cloth together to enclose it. Place the sieve over a bowl, making sure there is a good gap between the base of the sieve and the bowl, put in the fridge and leave for 1 to 2 days – the onger you leave it, the denser the mixture. This process allows the whey to drain out of the yogurt, which will leave you with a thick creamy curd.
    2. Put the aubergine strips in a colander, sprinkle with the salt and leave to drain for 20 minutes, to help stop them absorbing excessive oil during cooking. Wash off the salt and pat dry thoroughly with kitchen paper.
    3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Working in batches, fry the aubergine strips, adding oil as needed to stop them sticking to the pan; drain on kitchen paper. Once they are all cooked, return them to the pan, adding the chopped garlic. Cook for 1 minute, then add the verjuice and boil until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl, stir through the mint and vinegar and leave to cool to room temperature.
    4. Grill the ciabatta slices and rub with the whole garlic clove. Drizzle over a little olive oil, spoon the curd over the toasts, then top with the pickled aubergine. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and more extra virgin olive oil and scatter over the rocket.

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    Drinks recommendation

    This needs a wine that’s not too dry, has really bright acidity and a touch of body – a well-chilled rosé is ideal. Zalze Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Rosé 2009 Coastal Region, South Africa. Bin 701669;

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