Aubergines were introduced to the Mediterranean region by the Arabs in the Middle Ages and Sicilians use them a lot in their cooking. Stuffing sliced aubergines with cheese, breadcrumbs and other goodies is a particularly popular way of serving them. Feel free to be creative with your fillings – this recipe is not about precision.

  • 90mins
  • 4
  • Easy


  • 20g raisins
  • 50ml Marsala wine
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 15 walnut halves, finely chopped
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 30g dried white breadcrumbs
  • 30g capers, drained and chopped
  • 20g freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • 3 large, long aubergines
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Choose the heaviest aubergines you can find and cut just before cooking to avoid discoloration.

Soak four wooden skewers, about 30cm long, in cold water for at least 30 minutes.

To make the stuffing mixture, put the raisins in a small bowl or cup, pour over the Marsala and leave to soak for 20 minutes, then drain. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and fry for five minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the parsley, season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Add the walnuts, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, capers, pecorino and drained raisins. Stir to combine and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Using a long, sharp knife cut each aubergine lengthways into slices about 1cm thick. Discard the first and last slice. Use the 12 widest slices.
Drop the aubergine slices into the boiling water for at least 30 minutes. Bring back to the boil and simmer for four minutes or until softened. Drain thoroughly then spread out on kitchen paper to dry.
Place the aubergine slices on a board and spread the stuffing mixture equally on all the slices. Roll up each slice and thread three aubergine rolls on each skewer. Thread a bay leaf on either end of the skewer.
Arrange the skewers on a large oiled baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and brush over the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve immediately.
Gino’s Islands in the Sun by
Gino D’Acampo is published by Hodder & Stoughton, £20.

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