The best dinner party centre piece

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Recipe from KinoVino3: Flavours of the Pomegranate 

Here is one of my ‘signature’ party treats, which has been tested (quite successfully) on my friends at numerous house-parties. It was equally successful at KinoVino3 when I made a more authentic Georgian versions of this. Not only does it taste great but the best part about this dish really is the preparation – it’s a fine work of a jeweller. Patience, precision and a steady hand are prerequisites. So here’s what you do.

To make the amount shown on the picture you will need

4 aubergines

8-10 baby peppers

1/2 pack of feta cheese (forget about it if you are opting for the authentic Georgian thing)

1/2 pack of walnuts

1 bouquet of fresh coriander

1 tea spoon of ajika

olive oil

sea salt

Method:

Pre-heat the grill.

Cut one of the four aubergines in the middle, sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt, and put under the grill.

Sprinkle the baby peppers with olive oil and some salt and place under the grill, to keep aubergines company.

Using a very sharp knife slice the rest of the aubergines length-wise into very thin, almost see-through strips. Make sure they are thin enough to be rolled but also strong enough to hold the stuffing.

Place them on the non-stick frying pan (no oil) and cook until they turn golden brown.

Once the veggies under the grill are ready (don’t be afraid to burn them a bit), take them away from the grill.

Place the peppers in an air-tight jar and forget about them for a bit.

Using a spoon separate the flesh of the aubergine from its burnt skin and place in a bowl.

To that bowl add the rest of the ingredients and blend using a hand blender. Add olive oil to ensure smooth but solid consistency of the paste.

Once the paste is ready spread it over the aubergine strips and roll them carefully so they don’t burst.

Now is time to remember about your peppers. Take them out of the jar and peel off the skin (a very tricky procedure). Using a spoon or a (homemade) pastry bag fill the peppers with the paste. If you have even more time on your hands you can make a grilled pepper paste to fill your peppers (just substitute grilled aubergine flesh with that of the peppers).

Lay out in a dish and sprinkle with some pomegranate seeds and dried mint.

Your guests will be blown away by this party treat and might ask to move in with you!

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