There are many variations of this classical tapas. In it’s simplest form it is slices of Aubergine, fried, seasoned with Salt and then drizzled with Honey. However, there is one particular bar in Seville that cuts them into finger sized wedges, coats them in Breadcrumbs, deep fries them and then drizzles with Honey. The outside is crispy, with a melt in the mouth centre. They are sooooooo good! They are an absolutely must eat when Leo and I return to Seville. But we can’t always wait that long! So this is my version of them using Panko, breadcrumbs typically used in Asian countries and found in most Asian supermarkets. They are slightly bigger and uneven and give a really lovely crispy coating, but if you don’t have them then regular breadcrumbs will work well too. It’s important to use a runny Honey so that you can drizzle it well over the Aubergine. I’ve added some freshly chopped Rosemary and Thyme which work really well with both the Honey and the Aubergine. I know of one lady who absolutely loves these as much as I do, and that’s my Mum, so enjoy!
Serves 4 – 6
For the Fried Aubergine
2 medium – large Aubergines, about 700 g
Salt / Pepper
100 g Panko
Enough Sunflower Oil for shallow frying
Fleur de Sel, (Flaky Sea Salt) to serve
For the Herby Honey
6 Tsp Honey
1 Stem Rosemary
4 Stems Thyme
Peel the Aubergine, and cut lengthways into 2 cm wide slices. Then cut each slice into roughly 2 cm wide wedges. Place a sheet of kitchen towel on to a large plate, scatter with Salt, place a layer of Aubergine on top, scatter the Aubergine with Salt, and place a layer of kitchen towel on top. Repeat until all the wedges of Aubergine are salted and lying between sheets of kitchen towel. The Salt will draw out the Water, the kitchen towel will soak it up. The wedges will then fry better and be well seasoned. Leave for at least 20 minutes. In the meantime separate the leaves of the Rosemary and Thyme from their stems and finely chop. Add to the Honey and mix well.
Prepare 3 deep dishes, one with some Flour, another with a beaten Egg, and the last with the Panko Breadcrumbs. Season the Egg with some Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper. Prepare a baking tray next to the Flour, Egg and Panko. Pat your slices of Aubergine dry. Take a slice and, using the right hand, place it in the Flour and coat well, shaking any excess off before placing it in the Egg. Now use your left hand to coat the Aubergine in Egg, again shaking off any excess before placing it in the the Breadcrumbs. Now use your right hand again to coat the Aubergine in Breadcrumbs. Firmly press the Breadcrumbs onto the slice and then place the breaded Aubergine on to the baking tray. By using the right hand for the dry ingredients and the left hand for the wet ingredients you will manage to only breadcrumb your Aubergine and not your fingers! Once all the slices are ready, fill a large frying pan with about 2 cm of Sunflower Oil and heat up. Once the Oil is quite hot, add in a layer of Aubergine, leaving enough space so that you can still turn them. You want to shallow fry them on a medium to high heat. They need a little time to cook through. Once the first side is a golden brown colour, rotate the slices. Repeat until all the sides are golden and crispy and then leave them to drain on a piece of kitchen towel. Shallow fry the rest of the slices. You can keep the finished ones warm in the oven until you are ready to serve. Stack up the fried Aubergine, drizzle with lots of Honey and sprinkle with Fleur de Sel. Serve immediately!
If you made the recipe let me know what you think in the comments below. You can also follow me on Instagram these days!