Remember my visit to Belgium

During my last Belgian visit I had the pleasure to dine in one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve ever been, Trattoria Bazalia. My brother Ivan and his man Peter are so lucky to live on the same square as where the restaurant is.  Although we didn’t know then, last monday the government decided to close all restaurants and bars for at least a month hoping to  prevent another lockdown.
The dinner was fabulous. The starter inspired me to create an oven dish with beetroot, eggplant and buffalo mozzarella.

Slice 2 medium sized eggplant. Brush some olive oil on each side. Put on baking paper. Bake in the oven at 200° for 30 minutes. Turn halfway.
Boil 600 grams of beetroot until tender. Remove the skin and slice. Mix 4 chopped garlic cloves with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 table spoons of balsamic vinegar, pepper, salt and 1 table spoon of dried basil.
Take a oval oven dish. Oil the dish. Alternate a layer of eggplant with beetroot. Brush some of the olive oil/balsamic mixture on each layer. Put a layer of buffalo mozzarella in between the layers. Finish with mozzarella. Drizzle the remaining dressing on the mozzarella. Finish with some bay leaves.
Bake the dish in the oven at 180° for 25-30 minutes, until the surface has become golden brown. Spread some tiny little pieces of beetroot (marinated in balsamic vinegar)on the dish. Okay, don’t even try to compare the outlook of my oven dish with the original starter which was not only delicious but also beautiful and fabulous. Thanks @Trattoria Bazalia. I wish you good luck with the takeaway.

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