Roasted aubergine with burrata, basil and confit tomato

With the striking contrast of snow-white burrata, confit tomato and crisp slab of roasted aubergine set off by the ghostly green glow of basil oil, Angelo Sabatelli's vegetarian starter recipe looks out of this world in every sense. For ease of preparation, make the confit tomatoes and basil oil the day before – this leaves only the final glazing of the aubergine to do on the day of serving.

First published in 2016




Roasted aubergine

  • 2 aubergines, each weighing 300g
  • 50g of soy sauce
  • 100g of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of cornflour
  • peanut oil

Confit tomatoes

  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil

Basil oil

To serve


  • Blender
  • Muslin cloth


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
The day before serving, prepare the roasted aubergines. Peel the aubergines, then fry in a dash of peanut oil over a medium heat until golden brown. Leave to cool and drain a little on kitchen paper, then place on a baking tray and pierce holes all over the surface of the aubergines using a sharp skewer
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce and oil until emulsified. Pour a third of the soy emulsion over the pierced aubergines and roast in the oven for 12 minutes
  • 50g of soy sauce
  • 100g of extra virgin olive oil
After this time, remove the aubergines from the oven and pour over half of the remaining emulsion. Return to the oven and cook for a further 12 minutes
Repeat with the remaining emulsion, removing the aubergines from the oven and coating in sauce. Return to the oven and cook for 12 minutes
Once cooked through, place a clean baking tray on top of the aubergines and press down using a weight or heavy object. Transfer to the fridge and leave to chill overnight until set
Preheat the oven to 100°C/gas mark ¼
The next day, prepare the confit tomatoes. Arrange the tomatoes on a baking tray and drizzle liberally with oil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 2 hours to dry out
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
Meanwhile, remove the pressed aubergine from the fridge and pour any strained juice into a bowl. Skim off the oil, then whisk in a spoonful of cornflour and mix until the liquid thickens into a sauce. Set aside until required
  • 1 tbsp of cornflour
For the basil oil, place the oil and basil leaves in a blender and blitz for 10 minutes until thoroughly combined. Strain through a fine sieve or piece of muslin and set aside until ready to serve
Remove the confit tomatoes from the oven and set aside to cool, increasing the oven temperature to 180°C/gas mark 4
Slice the compressed aubergine into 8 even rectangles, discarding any trimmings. Brush the rectangles all over with the aubergine sauce and roast in the oven for 4 minutes
After this time, brush the baked aubergine in another layer of sauce and cook for a further 4 minutes, or until crisp
To serve, place a piece of roasted aubergine in the centre of each bowl and drizzle over the basil oil. Divide the burrata between plates, garnishing each with a confit tomato to serve

It took Angelo Sabatelli a good few years working around the world to realise his true calling was to cook the traditional cuisine of Puglia, but when he returned home to open his first restaurant, the wait was worth it. His technical excellence and expertise transforms the region’s dishes into Michelin-starred masterpieces.

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