Parmigiana di Melanzane

Usually baked and served up as squares from a shallow oven dish, Parmigiana di Melanzane is sheer comfort food.

Deep aubergine, soft mozzarella, tangy tomatoes and salty parmesan.

My alternative take as individual portions ...

Slice up an aubergine. That's an eggplant as it is alternatively called. Slice across the fruit to make a number of circular portions about a centimetre thick.

Oil each aubergine slice individually and place onto a pre-heated griddle.

Meanwhile, slice up a couple of balls of mozzarella, grate some parmesan and drain the excess liquid from a tin of peeled plum tomatoes.

Place the drained tomatoes into a mixing bowl and break them up. Add in any flavours you want - chilli, garlic, caper, salt, pepper and herbs.

Once the aubergines are cooked through, soft but not soggy, place them on a large serving plate.

Layer up with slices of mozzarella, a spoon of the tomatoes and a little parmesan. Place under the grill for a short time - enough to just melt the parmesan.

Dress with fresh basil, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a good grind of freshly milled black pepper.

I like to go an extra step and garnish with omelette flowers.

Omelette flowers?

Take an egg - just one, whisk it really well and add just a touch of water for a really thin mix, almost a batter.

Pour out into a small frying pan ensuring a really thin layer of egg. Cook through on one side, much like a crepe.

Remove from the frying pan onto a board, roll up and slice across to make rounds of omelette. Pull apart for ribbons.