Deep fried aubergine (eggplant) with warm honeycomb

This recipe is based on a tapas favorite from Andalusia, southern Spain.

1 large aubergine (eggplant)
2 tsp salt
1 cup sunflower seed oil for frying
1/2 cup sifted flour
Several ounces of traditional miel de caña (treacle or molasses) or honey
1 small honeycomb

Wash the eggplant with lukewarm soapy water, rinse, and dry well.

Slice the eggplant into fairly thin slices. Layer the slices on a large, parchment lined cookie sheet and very lightly salt both sides. Set out for one hour, during which the salt will draw out the excess moisture, allowing it to crisp up evenly when fried. After an hour pat the slices dry with a towel and set aside.

Pour sunflower seed oil into a medium frying pan and set to a medium heat. Test the oil for readiness.

Sift the flour into a dish and set next to the stove. Dredge the dry slices evenly on both sides. Gently shake the excess flour off, then slide into the oil. Turn with oil safe tongs when the edges begin to turn golden brown. Fry in turns, no more than five at a time.

Lay them out on paper towels to absorb any excess oil, which will make them limp if they are insufficiently drained. When all of the slices have been fried, set the honeycomb in the center of a large platter, evenly lay out the slices around the comb and drizzle extra honey (or miel de caña) over the top.

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A tapas platter with yogurt, hummus, olive oil, Marcona almonds, fig jam, olives,  Tortes de Aceita, cheese, a variety of raw vegetables, and fried eggplant
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