When I asked some fellow Dulwich Hillians to share with me their favourite local foods, I was overwhelmed with the variety of responses.
With heroes ranging from Oricco’s chicken burger to Minh’s Vietnamese bo la lot, it seems that the only thing which connected them was their diversity. And what a pertinent metaphor for the people of Dully themselves! We are a true melting pot – as is this deliciously moreish snack.
All the ingredients are available in cosmopolitan Dulwich Hill: cheese from Gino & Mary’s, The Larder or IGA; fresh breadcrumbs from one of the three Vietnamese bakeries; house-made bresaola from Dulwich Hill Gourmet Meats; and pomegranate molasses and zaatar from Izmir’s Deli on Seaview Street.
• 1 large smooth eggplant
• 150g mozzarella or provolone, thinly sliced
• 10-12 slices bresaola
• a small handful of mint leaves
• 1 cup plain flour
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
• 1 tbsp zaatar (optional)
• olive or vegetable oil for frying
• pomegranate molasses, to serve
1. Slice the eggplant into round slices around half a centimeter thin and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for 15-20 minutes, then drain and dry with paper towel.
2. Toss the breadcrumbs with the zaatar (if using).
3. Place a slice of cheese, a slice of bresaola and a whole mint leaf on an eggplant round. Top with another round and push together to form a sandwich.
4. Dip the sandwiches in flour then shake off excess.
5. Dip into the beaten egg, and then into the breadcrumbs. Warm 1cm oil in a large frypan until shimmering. Fry a few sandwiches at a time, turning once, until golden brown on each side.
6. Drain on paper towel. Then serve drizzled with pomegranate molasses.
To reheat and serve at a later time, warm in a 180C oven for 6-8 minutes.
Recipe by Olivia Mackay, www.scoffandquaff.wordpress.com