Eleanor Ozich's braised eggplant – The Art of Simple

Recipe: Eleanor Ozich’s Braised Eggplant with Fragrant Herbs

Our Summer Issue cover star Eleanor Ozich first gained a cult following with the easy-to-follow, wholefood recipes she posted to her Petite Kitchen blog.  Now a hugely successful food writer and slow life advocate, she’s recently released her new book, The Art of Simple – a collection of food, beauty and cleaning recipes alongside tips to simplify, declutter and slow down your life. Here, she shares a dish from the book – a typically quick and delicious one to rustle up when you’re short on time but in need of something super tasty.

A quite wonderful recipe, this – unfussy to make, and to eat. Simply place the ingredients into a large pot and allow the heat to do the rest. This dish is lovely served with grilled fish or chicken, tossed through pasta or spooned over buttery mash.


A glug of extra virgin olive oil

2 eggplants, cubed

1 large fennel bulb,  finely sliced*

2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

¼ cup capers, drained

A handful of mint, roughly chopped

A handful of basil, roughly chopped

A handful of Italian flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped.


Place a heavy-bottomed cast-iron pot over a medium heat. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom entirely.

Once oil is sizzling, add the eggplant and fennel and stir to coat in the oil. Add the stock, cover the pot, then reduce the heat down as low as you can.

Cook for 25–30 minutes or until tender. The eggplant should be meltingly soft. You might need to add a splash of water or two if it starts to stick on the bottom.

Remove from the heat, add the white balsamic vinegar, capers, herbs (reserving some for garnish) and a generous pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir until combined.

Serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh herbs.

*If you can’t find fennel, leek or shallots would also work well here.

Recipe extracted from The Art of Simple by Eleanor Ozich, published by Penguin NZ, Hardback, RRP: $40.00