This casual assembly of eggs, ricotta and chargrilled vegetables makes an extraordinary weekend brunch.
1 large eggplant
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish
200g fresh low-fat ricotta
6 baby roma tomatoes, halved
2 small Lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthways
1/2 cup (about 80g) mixed olives
1 tablespoon zaatar or sumac (see Notes)
100g reduced-fat feta, crumbled
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
SERVINGS : 4
1) Preheat a chargrill pan or barbecue grill to medium-high heat. Cut the eggplant lengthways into 8 thin slices, then lightly brush each side with olive oil. Grill for 2 minutes on each side or until charred. Set aside to cool slightly.
2) Stir the chopped mint into the ricotta until well combined, then season well. When eggplant is cooled but still soft, spread a heaped tablespoon of ricotta mixture at the end of 1 slice and roll up to enclose. Continue with remaining eggplant and ricotta mixture. Set aside.
3) Place the eggs in a pan, cover with hot water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5-6 minutes for soft-boiled, then remove and plunge into iced water. Peel, then halve.
4) To serve, divide the eggplant rolls, eggs, tomatoes, cucumber and olives among serving plates. Sprinkle the eggs with zaatar or sumac. Crumble over feta and drizzle with honey. Garnish with extra mint leaves and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Note: Zaatar (a blend of oregano, thyme, sumac and sesame) and sumac (a lemony spice made from ground dried berries) are from Middle Eastern food shops.
Photography by Mark Roper