go straight to the recipe

I have also made this wonderful dish with ricotta as against strained yoghurt [labeneh]. Being the labeller from hell I could not believe the mistake I made. Whilst I was the only person at the table who knew the difference it missed the sourness of the yoghurt to cut back on the richness of the fried eggplant.

A big thank you to my friend Billy Leonida, ever the curious cook, for the simple pie formation suggestion. It’s great gives a terrific crunchy crust. The new pastry, yet to be written up gives a brilliant crunchy crust, but Carême Puff would be the perfect substitute. However, I used a perforated pizza tray, standing on a rack. It worked brilliantly, all the oil dripping onto the tray below. Billy has also suggested that roasted beetroot and onion would work with everything…a great idea since eggplant is on the way out for this season.

Please read the entire recipe before gathering your ingredients.



25cm stainless steel cake rack
bowl that the cake rack sits safely on
deep oven tray with rack aluminium foil
40 cm perforated pizza tray
30 cm diameter disk baking paper
pizza lifter
large flat plate for serving…roughly 40 cm


1kg [approx.] eggplant, peeled and cut into 12 mm rounds
EVO at least 250ml
roughly 100ml Terre Francesca Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Black Truffle oil [1]

60g currants
30g Leonardi Balsamic vinegar
50g blanched almond flakes, roasted in a 160*DEG;C oven until lightly coloured
10g p/w finely chopped garlic

500g Carême Butter Puff Pastry
1 room temperature egg yolk
30g cold water
Maldon sea salt
white pepper, freshly ground

pomegranate molasses….click here

to finish

1 pickled lemon, flesh removed, finely julienned
1 REALLY RIPE pomegranate, seeds only

300g plain Greek yoghurt strained in muslin for 24 hours
15g p/w minced garlic
Maldon sea salt
white pepper, freshly ad finely ground
3 large sprigs of the following, leafed
few sprigs chervil and fennel
4-6 radishes [depending on size] washed and finely sliced….leafy part reserved for stir fries

tHE day before

Select a deep bowl and stand a cake rack in the bowl. Using oil as required, with occasional splashes of truffle oil, fry the eggplant until it is lightly coloured on both sides and cooked through. Stand it on the rack, cover and leave overnight.

Add the vinegar to the currants and stir over a few times. Strain the yoghurt…do not refrigerate.

on the day

pre heat oven to 185°C
Cover the baking sheet with the aluminium foil and stand the rack on top. Oil the pizza tray and secure the baking paper disk onto it.

Roll the pastry out so that it is approximately 10 cm wider than the paper disk. Stir over the currants and scatter then evenly on the pastry not exceeding the size of the paper disk. Scatter half of the roasted almonds on top, then layer the drained eggplant on top. Season with salt and white pepper. Whisk the egg yolk and water together and brush the edges of the pastry, fold it up tight pinching it together. Brush the outside edges of the pastry with the egg wash.

Put the pie in the middle of the oven and set a timer for 30 minutes. When the timer goes check and assess how much longer it needs to cook 20-30 minutes. Depending on your oven it may be good to turn it.

Remove from the oven and set a timer for 30 minutes. When the timer goes use the pizza lifter to put the pie on your serving plate.

Not too long before you want to serve. Mix together the yoghurt and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Roughly chop the mint, parsley and basil and add to the yoghurt. Spoon the yoghurt mix in blobs over the top. Scatter the pickled lemon rind and remaining almonds over the top. Let bits and pieces drop onto the edge of your serving plate.

Add the pomegranate seeds and slice the radish over the top. Finally……add some very small sprigs of the last herbs.

Just before taking to the table drizzle the pomegranate molasses over the pie and the edges of the plate.

more cook's notes

I like to serve this at room temperature and not reheat, however, I think you could reheat the eggplant pastry base by leaving it on the pizza tray and proceed from there. But, there is nothing as good as something straight from the oven.

[1] This is the only truffle oil we use Terre Francesca Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Black Truffle oil…why? Because 95% of truffle oils are artificially flavoured this truffle oil has not just excellent base extra virgin olive oil, but slices of dehydrated black truffle. It seasonally turns up in Costco so worthwhile to look out for.

for the

1 pomegranate, seeds only
equal weight caster sugar
equal wight Leonardi Balsamic vinegar

Put the pomegranate seeds into a food processor and process just lone enough to juice but not chop the seeds. Strain off the juice pressing hard against the sieve. Weigh in the sugar and balsamic, bring to the boil, stirring just long enough to combine, skim the scum and when you have a good syrup consistency remove from the heat and allow to cool.

If you have an abundance of pomegranates make bulk. This will be a revelation against the commercial pomegranate molasses.


love your local

our locals

Don’t have a garden with a pomegranate tree? In season, perfect pomegranates can be purchased at the  South Australian Sunday Adelaide Showground Farmers Market from The Food Forest. The attend the market on alternate weeks check with their weekly stall list.


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