Chef Simon Webster from Sabor a Pasion is finding a way to use the Texas heat to his advantage. He's making aubergine cake with layers of cooked aubergines, onions and fried onions topped with mozzarella cheese.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large onions, 1/4 inch slices
- 2 large eggplants, 1/4 inch slices
- canola oil, for frying
- 6 large tomatoes, 1/4 inch slices
- 2 (8 oz.) logs fresh mozzarella, sliced
- Olive oil and basil leaves for garnish
- In a large sauté pan over medium heat, slowly sauté the onion slices in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft and caramelized but not browned, about 15 minutes. Place in a bowl and set aside.
- In the same sauté pan add about 1/2 inch of canola oil. Heat to frying temperature and in batches fry the eggplant slices until slightly brown and a bit crispy. Lay the eggplant slices on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain.
- Line a deep 9-inch cake pan with plastic wrap with plenty of excess plastic hanging over the sides. Begin layering in the following order – sliced tomatoes, sautéed onions, mozzarella, eggplant slices, another layer of tomatoes, more sautéed onions, cheese, eggplants and finally a last layer of tomatoes.
- The warmth of the onions and eggplant melt the cheese and help everything mold together. Fold the plastic wrap up around the layers. Place a salad plate on top to press the layers down. Refrigerate for about four hours or overnight. Unwrap the plastic from the top. Place a large plate on top of the cake pan and turn over. Remove the cake pan and the plastic. Serve in slices with basil garnish and a drizzle of olive oil.