Aubergine or brinjal, as this fleshy, low carb and delicious veggie is known, is my favourite among veggies! I make no excuses for enjoying this filling and nutritious “bread” replacement that forms a big part of my lifestyle, in my quest to be totally refined breads free. That I dedicated a blog post to it in my earlier blog posts, reveals my love for them
Looking for ways to add additional flavouring to my meals, and veggies, after enjoying both bacon and macon wrapped asparagus and broccoli, I decided to try wrapping my favourite veggie with bacon…and it proved really really delicious – delectably so.
The important aspect to note for those following a Low Carb or Paleo lifestyle, and those avoiding all refined sugars, is, the bacon or macon has to be nitrates free and sugar free – two ingredients among the preservatives added to curing these meats. If you ask, your butcher can make them free of these nasties, or, it may be home made by yourself, if you follow the resources available in curing our own meats naturally. Never use store-bought, packaged meats – read the packaging and note the “rubbish” in them, it makes for an interesting education in just what is added into processed foods.
Baked or pan grilled aubergine is amazing! A salt soak of the fresh aubergines before baking or grilling them is necessary to avoid the absorption of oil, and some believe to remove any bitterness. Sometimes you are able to obtain seedless aubergines that don’t require a salt soak. These are generally the younger variety. It’s important to wipe the aubergines dry before rubbing on the olive oil (and garlic, if using). While aubergines require a little oil to moisten them for baking, many fail at this because they add too much of oil, rendering the baking aubergine oil soaked and awful tasting.
I half-baked these aubergines, before wrapping them in bacon and continuing the baking process – ensuring a soft, succulent smoking tasting bacon-wrapped aubergine. Note that you want to keep the oil rub to a minimum as the bacon gives off fat that is absorbed into the aubergine.
An innovative method to add flavour to aubergine, this recipe is one that will please lovers of aubergine, and bacon or macon lovers too! )
1 large, firm and fresh or 2 medium-sized, long aubergines
2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
3 -4 pieces of streaky bacon or macon
Optional: Fresh garlic paste
Optional: A mix of coriander and cumin powders mixed with the olive oil and fresh garlic for the rub. Any seasoning or dry herbs you prefer, works well.
Himalayan or Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper for seasoning.
- Preheat your oven to 180° Celsius.
- Top and tail the aubergines, slice into desired thickness, and soak in course sea salt or in salted water for 10-15 minutes. I find the latter easier as there’s no rinsing off the salt required. While the purpose of the salt soak may draw away any bitterness, the main aim of the salt soak is so that the aubergines soak up less oil after salting.
- Discard the water and wipe the aubergines dry, using a thick kitchen towel.
- Adding oil to your cupped palm, rub on the olive oil, or rather massage it into the aubergine. A little oil goes a long way and be cautious in the amount of oil you use, as you don’t want soggy aubergines.
- Lay the aubergine skin side down on an oven tray, bake for about 10 minutes until the aubergine is half cooked. Carefully remove the aubergine from the oven, and wrap the bacon or macon around it, covering the entire slice.
- Return to the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes until the aubergine is fully cooked and the bacon is crispy.
- Remove from the oven, serve with your choice of salad and / or boiled eggs with Paleo mayonnaise, if preferred.