Ingredients (serves 4):
4 Large Moreton Bay Bugs – whole and raw (1 Bug per person)
2 Medium Eggplants
1 Red Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
2 Celery Sticks
1 Sml Red Onion
1 Clove Garlic
1 Tbls Chopped Parsley
1 Tbls Chopped Dill
1 Tbls Chopped Chives
2 Tbls Toasted Pinenuts
2 Tbls Currants
50ml Red Wine Vinegar
100ml Olive Oil
50ml Sherry Vinegar
2 Tbls Sugar
Salt & Pepper
- Carefully remove the tail from bug and turn on its back, using scissors cut down each side and remove the tail in 1 whole piece.
- Remove any coral and digestive track with your fingers and place 2 small wooden skewers inside bug tail length ways (this stops the tail from curling up when cooking).
- Place the bug in a steamer for 90 seconds and then plunge into ice cold water. Pat dry on paper towel and then set aside in the fridge until ready to serve (note: the bug will still be raw inside, the steaming process is just to set the flesh and shape before it is roasted).
- Take one of the eggplants and prick it a few times with a knife. Place on an open flame, turning every minute or so until charred on all 4 sides. Place in a moderate oven for 10 minutes until soft. Once cool, peel skin, then place the skinless eggplant in the blender with some garlic, oil, salt, pepper and a little lemon juice. Blend until smooth and then set the eggplant puree aside.
- Dice the second eggplant, both peppers, leek, onion and celery. In a large fry pan sauté the eggplant on high heat in half of the olive oil until golden brown. Place on a large tray to cool.
- Return the fry pan to heat and add leeks, onion, celery and peppers – sweat the vegetables until they are soft (but don’t colour). Add vinegar and sugar, season with salt and pepper.
- Mix the vegetables with the cooked eggplant and then add chopped herbs, pinenuts and currants. Set aside.
- Cook bugs in a hot pan with garlic, oil, salt and pepper until golden brown. Finish in a moderate oven for 2 minutes, then remove skewers.
- Spoon a large dollop of the eggplant puree onto 4 plates.
- Spoon 1/4 of the caponata (vegetable mix) onto each plate.
- Place 1 bug tail on the top of each plate and then dress with a little sherry vinegar, olive oil & celery cress for garnish!