Butter-fried bread with eggplant and herbs

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

"When people come over we don't like being too prepared," says Nadine Levy Redzepi. "It's nice standing around the island in the kitchen with a glass of something cold and bubbly and everybody is chopping or doing something and eating these toast things. They're really a spin on bruschetta but I prefer butter - it's rich but fresher and lighter somehow."

  • 180 ml olive oil, or as needed
  • 3 eggplants
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 100 gm softened butter
  • 1 loaf ciabatta, thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
01   Place a 3.5-4 litre saucepan on medium-high heat and add a good amount of olive oil. While the pot heats up, start cutting the eggplant into medium dice. As soon as you have cut half of the first eggplant put it in the pot; do not stir yet! As you dice the eggplant, add it to the pot. When the dice on the bottom start to brown, add more olive oil and stir. Continue this procedure 4-5 times, being very generous with the olive oil, then add a good pinch of salt, stir and cover with a lid, leaving a crack open so any water can evaporate. Stir every 5 minutes, adding more olive oil if there’s too little at the bottom of the pot, until eggplant starts to get creamy and turns into a chunky mash (10-15 minutes). Turn off the heat and leave eggplant in the pot.
02   Coarsely chop the herbs, add to eggplant and stir well. Taste and add more salt if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle a good amount of cracked black pepper on top. Set aside to cool a little and start preparing the bread.
03   Put a frying pan on medium heat and add a generous spoonful of butter. When the butter starts bubbling, add ½ tsp of turmeric and swirl around so the butter becomes a lovely turmeric yellow, then add a few slices of bread. When golden brown (1-2 minutes), flip the bread. Ensure there’s enough butter and turmeric in the pan; I usually add another ½ tsp butter and ½ tsp turmeric when I flip the bread. Once the bread is a nice golden brown on both sides, place on paper towels to get rid of excess butter. Make sure you don’t layer the bread here; if you place 2 slices on top of each other, they will lose their crispness.
04   Serve the bread and the bowl of eggplant on a plate, place a good spoonful of eggplant on the bread slices, and put salt and pepper on the table so your fellow diners can add seasoning to their liking.
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