this is the second part of my julie aubergine rehabilitation programme (http://n1kitchen.blogspot.com/2009/05/roast-red-pepper-and-aubergine-sauce.html). these taste nothing like the stuff you normally get, even in decent restaurants. their taste is more mellow, somehow. also, because they're sliced thinly, the frying ensures they're cooked properly which i find to be the usual mistake with the english treatment of aubergines.
also, this is the taste of my childhood.
it tastes of:
sarajevo streets in warm summer afternoons, shady balconies and the smell of cooking in dusty streets below, quiet passage of august days with dark green, forest green blinds drawn in rooms smelling of turkish coffees and polished parquet flooring. steep asphalt of the old town, shaded by trees dripping fruit onto pavements, or big blocks of flats further down the valley. damp, shady courtyards where the sounds of football and the beating of persian carpets hung over metal frames grow sluggish in hot afternoon lulls. i see english homework and grandmothers in aprons stuffing courgettes with minced meat, and battered aubergines and shorts and tee shirts and afternooon walks and ice creams and dads reading newspapers and mums washing dishes in small kitchens.
1 aubergine (1 is enough for two people as a side dish), sliced lengthwise into slices 1/2in thick
1 egg, beaten
1tbs or so of flour
olive oil and seasoning
slice the aubergine, salt and leave in a colander for about an hour. this is to draw the juices out - some people claim they're bitter (i rarely find that's true) but in this case it's to get rid of excess water so they don't go soggy when you cook them.
drain off the liquid and dry the aubergines with some kitchen paper. i do this quite vigorously as i find you need less flour to absorb the moisture (thanks mum!).
dip into seasoned flour (or just sprinkle a bit on top and rub it in with your hand), then into egg and fry on relatively high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side.