Cut 4 medium-sized red peppers in half, then into long, 1cm thick strips. In a heavy, shallow pan, heat 5 tbsp of olive oil, add the peppers, season and add rosemary, then fry over moderate heat, stirring, for about 5 minutes.
Peel and thinly slice 1 clove of garlic and add to the pan. Halve a large bulb of fennel, slice thinly, then add it to the peppers, rosemary and garlic and continue cooking for a good 10 minutes.
Break 1 egg into a shallow dish and beat lightly with a fork to mix yolk and white. Season. Using a food processor, reduce 100g of white bread to coarse crumbs, then spread on a dinner plate.
Slice a medium-sized aubergine into rounds approximately the thickness of a £1 coin, dip each slice first into the egg then the crumbs. Press firmly.
In a shallow pan – I use one about 28cm in diameter – heat 6 tbsp of olive oil over a medium heat. Lower the crumbed aubergine slices into the oil and fry for about 4 minutes on each side until the aubergine is soft and the crumbs are crisp and golden. Lift out and drain for a second or two on kitchen paper.
Stir 15 or so medium-sized basil leaves into the peppers, then serve with the aubergines. Enough for 2
Keep the heat moderate so that the juices from the peppers and fennel don’t evaporate. Likewise when cooking the aubergine, work at a medium heat where the aubergine can cook inside, before the crumbs brown and crisp.
You can grill the aubergines instead, pressing the lightly oiled slices on to the grill with a palette knife until cooked through, marked with black stripes from the griddle. Or cook them on a barbecue, the sauce made previously indoors.
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