The aperitivo, a few small treats and a glass of wine or beer in the early evening, is pure culinary dolce vita and one of the most beautiful Italian traditions. You don’t necessarily have to be in Sicily or Italy for this. You can just as easily prepare this experience for yourself and your loved ones at home. This recipe is a good place to start, as are caponata and peperonata. Add some good white bread and a few pieces of Pecorino or Parmesan cheese and a few slices of coarse salami with fennel seeds, and you’re in a holiday mood!
- 500g aubergines
- 1 small bunch of fresh mint
- 4 gloves of garlic
- Il circolo extra virgin olive oil
- Cut the aubergines into (approx. 0.3-0.5 cm) thin slices, sprinkle with plenty of salt and stack on top of each other. Leave on a rack over a plate or over the sink for about 1 hour to let the vegetation water run-off and remove the bitterness. Then rinse well with water and squeeze gently between the palms of your hands.
- Spread the aubergine slices on an oven rack covered with baking paper and brush thinly with olive oil. Place on the top rack of the oven under the grill for about 10 minutes (or until they start to get tender).
- In the meantime, finely chop the garlic and mint.
- When the aubergine slices are ready, place one layer in a shallow dish, sprinkle with garlic and mint and drizzle with olive oil. Then add more layers of alternating aubergine with garlic, mint and olive oil.
- Serve while still warm or cold as an aperitivo or side dish.