Roasted aubergine towers

These little roasted aubergine towers make an impressive vegetarian dinner party dish. You can assemble them ahead of time and just lightly warm in the oven before serving. I’ve constructed these towers using my trio of beetroot fillings that I posted last week. Not only do they add an interesting mix of flavours, but they also create a vibrant collection of colours.

Of course, making all the fillings beforehand will be time consuming, so you could just settle on one strong flavour and use that. Some kind of pesto might be the obvious choice.

I made this dish just a few weeks ago, and already I’m thinking it looks so colourful and summery – and almost a little out of place as we plunge headlong into the more muted colours of autumn. I guess some roasted pumpkin or butternut squash would add a nice touch for this season.

Ingredients (for 2 towers)

One aubergine (in approx 1cm thick slices)
2 large tomatoes, sliced
One pack of mozzarella (175g), sliced
Equal portions of pesto, flavoured hummus and tapenade (or just choose one)
Dried mixed herbs and drizzle of olive oil for garnish
Olive oil for roasting

Drizzle the slices of aubergine with olive oil and bake in the oven at 200C for about 30-35 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, add the tomatoes on another shelf. When evenly roasted take both trays out and leave to cool.

Assemble your chosen spreads and start to assemble your towers, using an aubergine as the base and alternating between tomato and mozzarella slices with pesto/hummus/tapenade in between the layers.

It looks better to finish up with a slice of mozzarella on top, and then sprinkle with herbs. You can eat these towers cold, or lightly warm in the oven until the cheese just starts to wilt.

Don’t worry if they lean to one side at a jaunty little angle (as mine always do) – it really just adds to their charm!


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