This summer of 2017 was one of the sultriest ever for Italians – so hot Carola set out to find the perfect antipasto for chilling out with a cool glass of Canella white sparkle. She uncovered it among the superb recipes by iconic chef Yottam Ottolenghi, and realized it was a match made in heaven with our top-tier, vintage Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Millesimato Brut.
Allow us to tempt you with an ‘antipasto’ of the antipasto recipe (you can check out Carola’s blog for more, http://www.lacasettadellepesche.it/2017/08/melanzane-con-melagrana-prosecco-brut/): if you want 4 servings, you’ll need 2 large, long eggplants, ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil, 1½ teaspoons lemon thyme leaves (plus several whole sprigs for garnishing), salt and black pepper, 1 pomegranate (this one’s the star of the recipe, in combination with the eggplant and buttermilk sauce: only think of the chromatic beauty… and it tastes every bit as scrumptious), 1 teaspoon za’atar, plus – for the sauce, 9 tablespoons of buttermilk, ½ a cup of Greek yogurt, 1½ tablespoons of e. v. olive oil, 1 small garlic clove, crushed, and a pinch of salt. You preheat the oven to 350°F, cut the eggplants in half lengthways, cutting straight through the green stalk (the stalk is there for the esthetics, not for eating); then you make a few incisions in the cut side of each eggplant half, without cutting through to the skin. Place the eggplant halves, cut-side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with e. v. o. o. until this has been entirely absorbed by the flesh of the eggplant, sprinkle with the lemon thyme leaves, salt and pepper, and bake for around 35-40 minutes, then leave it to cool. In the meantime, you’ll have whisked together the ingredients for the sauce and prepared the pomegranate seeds. You then spoon abundant buttermilk sauce over the eggplant halves (except for the stalks), sprinkle za’atar and pomegranate seeds on top, garnish with lemon thyme, drizzle with e. v. olive oil and enjoy the lot with a well chilled glass of Canella Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Millesimato Brut.