Halloumi and Aubergine Stack
Mum’s sister found the recipe in a magazine and recently made this for Mum. Mum wanted to make it for me, but we didn’t have the recipe and we couldn’t get hold of Mum’s sister on the phone. So we put this together as best as Mum could remember, and it turned out to be excellent. But when has Mum ever needed a recipe for anything!?
For the tomato sauce:
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 large cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
Black olives (optional)
For the stack:
Silverbeet or spinach
Basil leaves (to garnish)
To make the tomato sauce –
In a pot, brown 2 big cloves of chopped garlic in oil. Then add 1 can of diced tomatoes, (Italian elongated tomatoes are the best for paste type sauces) and half a chopped spring onion. Add salt and pepper, and leave to reduce in the pot on a low setting. Later add 10 chopped black olives, and a half teaspoon of sugar, and leave mixture until it is reduced to a thick sauce that is able to be spread.
To prepare the ingredients for the rest of the stack –
Slice an aubergine into rounds of about 1 ¼ cm thick. Fry in a pan of olive oil, and do this for the other side as well.
Cook silverbeet, then drain, let cool, then squeeze off the excess water.
Rinse the halloumi cheese, pat dry, then cut into slabs (the block of halloumi we had allowed us to cut 8 slabs of about 6 cm x 6cm x .06 cm thick). Flour both sides and fry in olive oil.
Quickly brown some pinenuts in the pan.
Create the stack in the order of: aubergine, tomato sauce, silverbeet, cheese. Create as many layers as you wish, and finish with tomato sauce and pinenuts.
Garnish with basil leaves.
Potato wedges as a side dish:
We decided that the stack alone, wasn’t enough for dinner, so we made some potato wedges.
Boil potatoes, then drain and cut into wedges. Put them back in the pot, throw a bit of flour on them, then shake the pot to coat and rough up the outside of the wedges. This allows them to crisp when fried in a pan of butter and oil.
Changes to the original recipe that we made:
The olives were an additon to the recipe that Mum made.
We left off the pinenuts.
Mum cooks silverbeet when she has a supply in her garden and freezes it into portion sized plastic bags. Then she has a ready-made pre-cooked source all year. This is what she used for the silverbeet in this recipe. This is great as it cuts down preparation time.
Mum must have been in touch with her sister, because after I arrived home, she sent me a text of what the “correct” order of the ingredients in the construction of the stack is from the recipe. It doesn’t really matter too much. The order we did, tomato sauce, aubergine, silverbeet, halloumi, tomato sauce, aubergine, silverbeet, halloumi, tomato sauce, aubergine, halloumi, silverbeet, tomato, basil, turned out fine.
But, placing the aubergine on the plate first, as the original recipe stated, would help to mop up the small amount of water that may still be in the tomato sauce, which can leak out onto the plate, as happened to us when we put sauce on the plate first, then the aubergine.