Aubergines/eggplants–are piled high on the market stalls at the moment and I’m ever on the lookout for new ways to cook them.
Beautiful shiny black, purple and even white torpedoes, these enigmatic vegetables have always felt a bit daunting to me–where does one start!
Well yesterday I started with Nigel Slater’s heavy tome Tender (weighs in at 4 lbs).
He’s an English cookery writer with an air of the solitary about him and a touch of genius, who wrote about his childhood in a book called Toast.
Tender is the story of his urban London vegetable garden:
As the church bells chimed New Year’s Eve and fireworks lit up the night sky, I vowed to dig up my lawn and grow at least some of my own vegetables.
So far I’ve not dug deeply into it. Time to look again.
The section on aubergines is extensive–and this simple recipe leapt out at me.
We had these last night as a light supper with green beans (their ubiquity is beginning to cause comment!).
1 large aubergine/eggplant–sliced carefully into rounds about a 1.5 cm/.75″ thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic–thinly sliced
1lb/450gms tomatoes–cut up with their juice
1 dried red chili–chopped roughly
salt and pepper
more olive oil as you need it
4 tablespoons grated parmesan
- salt the aubergines and leave them to drain for an hour or so.
set the oven at 220C/425F
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and soften the garlic–about 30 seconds.
- Put in the tomatoes and the chili, season and cook over a medium high heat until you have a sauce–stirring often.
- Line a shallow oven tray with foil and brush it lightly with oil.
- Brush the aubergine rounds with olive oil.
- Arrange them on the tray and bake in the upper part of the oven until soft (undercooked aubs are un-eatable!)--15-20 minutes–turning them over after 10 minutes.
- Pile some sauce on each round–be generous–and top with some parmesan.
- Put the tray back in the oven for 15 minutes.
- the rounds should come out–as Nigel puts it–sizzling!
This is how much we liked them..!