Baked aubergine with buffalo mozzarella

Serves 4

1 large aubergine cut into 2cm thick slices
1tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 buffalo mozzarella weighing about 150g each, or you can use smaller ones
Sea salt for the dressing
60ml extra virgin olive oil
1tbsp capers
12 black olives, stoned and quartered
2 firm tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
1tsp balsamic vinegar
1tbsp chopped basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Season the slices of aubergine and scatter the thyme leaves over them. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan and lightly brown the aubergines on both sides, then cook place on a baking tray and cook them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, take out and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, mix together the ingredients for the dressing. Place a slice of aubergine on a plate and cut each of the mozzarella into quarters, if they are large, or use the mozzarella whole if they are the small enough. Arrange two quarters (or a whole small one) on each slice of aubergine. Spoon the dressing around and sprinkle with a little sea salt.

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