Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New camera excitement plus Eggplant/Aubergine Parmigiana

I finally jumped in and invested in a new camera. My point and shoot had disappointed me for a while, and I was becoming more and more aware of what else was out there. Despite working in creative industries for my whole career, I never really felt that I could do a 'worthy' job behind the camera. I sat through countless pre-shoot meetings, and then days of shoots and played a large role in the selection of final shots afterwards.

Through blogging, and reading a lot of blogs, I've changed my mind about what I can do and what I would like to be able to do. Some of the greatest inspiration has been from What Katie Ate - I love her story, working as a graphic designer until two years ago, and then deciding that there was something else that she might be better at. Katie Quinn Davies spent months getting up each day to shoot and style food, producing a large portfolio for her new chosen career. Her blog is just a by product, but has also brought her many fans, and some huge photographic jobs for Martha Stewart. Wow, love that she has reached the top of her field so quickly, and that she's from Sydney.

Others that make me want to cook and produce beautiful things are Cannelle et Vanille, Scandi Foodie, La Buena Vida,  and Heidi's Apples under my bed. And for people photography, and more specifically kids, Rummey Bears.  Anna shoots the most beautiful pictures of her daughter.

I chose the Nikon D3100. It's an entry level DSLR, but one that gets rave reviews for its features. Hopefully it will suit me well.

So now the pressure's really on. With a bit of trial and error, the photos being produced for Heavenly Ingredients in the coming weeks. Wish me luck!

Tonight I baked one of my favourites, Eggplant/Aubergine Parmigiana. I love eggplant season here - and I love how substantial and filling they are for healthy veg.

This recipe is adapted from Sophie Dahl's Voluptuous Delights.


3 medium eggplants
Sea salt
50ml olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 x cans tomatoes (400g)
1 Tbs soft brown sugar
1 Tbs Balsamic vinegar
50g fresh torn basil
300g buffalo mozzarella or ricotta ( I used ricotta)
100g parmesan
Salt & pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 200.
Slice the eggplant lengthways (roughly 1cm thick). Lay them out on baking paper and sprinkle with sea salt. Leave to sweat for 20 minutes.

Add the olive oil to a heavy based pan and add the onion and garlic. Keep on a low heat until softened, then add the tomatoes and brown sugar. Season as required with salt and pepper, and add the balsamic vinegar (if to your taste).  Allow to thicken for 20 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, bake the eggplant for 15 minutes on baking tray in a single layer for 15 minutes, or until they start to turn golden.

Line a large baking dish with baking paper and arrange the first layer of eggplant then place mozzarella/ricotta, basil and tomato on top. Continue this pattern until all the ingredients are used up. Finish the dish with a sprinkle of parmesan.

Layering the tomato sauce, ricotta & basil

Bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese has a touch of colour, and the eggplant is soft.
Serve with a green salad.

Bon Appétit!


  1. Amazingly yummy looking. Good photos too xxx

  2. Congrats on the new camera! ;-) This sounds so yummy :-)

  3. thanks lovely ladies - I was pretty happy with the end result x


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