These are delicious little Italian bundles of tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil, wrapped in slices of aubergine.

  • 2 large, long aubergines (eggplant)
  • 225 g / 8 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 16 large fresh basil leaves
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper
For the dressing
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 ml / 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the garnish
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp roasted pine nuts
  • torn basil leaves
  1. Remove and discard the stalks from the aubergines and cut them lengthways into thin slices the aim is to get 16 slices in total (disregarding the first and last slices), each about 5 mm / ¼ in thick.
  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the aubergine slices for about 2 minutes, until just softened. Drain, then dry on kitchen paper.
  3. Cut the mozzarella cheese into eight slices. Cut each tomato into eight slices, not counting the first and last slices.
  4. Place two aubergine slices on a baking sheet in a cross. Place a tomato slice in the centre, season, then add a basil leaf, followed by a slice of mozzarella, a basil leaf, a tomato slice, and more seasoning.
  5. Fold the ends of the aubergine slices around the filling to make a neat parcel. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients to make eight parcels. Chill for about 20 minutes. Preheat the grill (broiler).
  6. To make the tomato dressing, whisk all the ingredients together and season to taste.
  7. Brush the parcels with the oil and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden. Serve with the dressing, sprinkled with pine nuts and basil.
Grilled Aubergine Parcels