Aubergine Milanese with Grana Padano hot espuma

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Aubergine Milanese with Grana Padano hot espuma


. Difficulty: Easy . Serves: 4 people . Preparation time: 1 h (plus rising), and cooking time: 50 minutes
Aubergine Milanese is a great alternative to veal or chicken if you are trying to eat less meat. Packed with flavour and a satisfying meaty texture.
You should know though, that in Italy no one, and I mean no one, would never ever serve a Milanese (any type of Milanese really) with spaghetti!!! That is a concept Italians cannot bear. But fear not, I hear you. I understand you want something creamy to go with your crispy Milanese so here we are ….warm Grana Padano espuma!
I assure you this dish is easier and quicker than it sounds and it pays off every time!
Chefs tip: if a siphon is not available you can serve the crispy aubergines with a Grana Padano mousse instead. Use the same amount of ingredients, whip the cream and incorporate the finely grated Grana Padano. Season and place it into a piping bag. Serve cold.


2 large black aubergines
150 g plain flour to dust
2 eggs for the egg wash
250 g of panko breadcrumbs
50 g of grated Grana Padano
1 tbsp of smoked paprika
1 tbsp of curry powder
1 lt of veg oil for deep fat frying
Zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt flakes to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Basil leaves to garnish
Grana Padano to garnish

For the Grana Padano espuma
150 g of grated Grana Padano
320 ml of double cream 
Salt and pepper to taste

For the pistachio and rocket pesto
40 g of rocket salad
20 g of shelled pistachio
80 ml of olive oil
25 g of grated Grana Padano
½ garlic clove (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste


Peel the aubergines with a potato peeler and slice into 2cm thick steaks. Season with salt, rub well and let them marinade in the salt for a few hours to remove excess water 
Season a few tablespoons of flour with the paprika and curry powder. Pat aubergine steaks dry and dust them well with the seasoned flour. Then, dip them into the seasoned egg wash. Mix the panko breadcrumbs with the grated Grana Padano and toss the aubergine steaks in. Press the breadcrumbs onto the aubergine steaks to ensure no spots are left uncovered. Set aside
To prepare the pesto place all the ingredient in a food processor and blitz until you have a paste. Go easy with the salt and pepper as it is quite savory already
To prepare the Grana Padano espuma, warm up the cream and when just boiling remove from the heat and gently melt in the finely grated Grana Padano cheese. Season to taste and pass through a sieve to remove any lumps. Pour the cream into a 500 ml big kitchen syphon and seal. Let it cool and add 2 gas charges. Store in the fridge but remember to warm it up in a pot of hot water (not boiling) before serving. Let the syphon rest for a couple of hours before piping the espuma out as this allows the gas to have time to distribute well within the cream.
Then deep fry the aubergine steaks at 170 degrees. Cook a couple at a time. After 2/3 minutes flip them over to make sure they are well golden all over. They should be cooked for about 5/6 minutes in total. When ready, drain the aubergine steaks on to a piece of kitchen paper and sprinkle them with grated Grana Padano while still hot
Plate the aubergine steaks on flat dishes. Top with a spoonful of fragrant pesto and garnish with basil leaves and lemon zest. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and finish with a big dollop of warm Grana Padano espuma on the side! Enjoy.
Danilo Cortellini