Entries in aubergine (24)


roasted aubergine and lentil salad with pomegranate and mint

this salad was the perfect thing to eat on a warm summer’s evening.

i griddled aubergine slices which had been brushed with olive oil and seasoned; while they were cooking i fried a sliced red onion and some garlic in a little olive oil and when this softened i added a couple of handfuls of green lentils (puy would also have been nice), added a little red wine. when the wine had simmered away i added vegetable stock and a bay leaf,  cooking the lentils until soft and adding extra stock as necessary (add it slowly as you want it all to absorbed by the lentils).

the cooked lentils were mixed with a little pomegranate molasses and a drizzle of olive oil, so they absorbed the flavours. the cooled lentils were layered with the aubergine and some cherry tomatoes which i had roasted earlier in the week. a scattering of torn mozzarella (feta, goat's curd or grilled halloumi would also be good) and fresh mint were the finishing touches to this wonderful summer salad. we ate this with roasted spatchcocked poussin, which i’d rubbed with olive oil, sweet smoked paprika and lemon juice,and cooked for 40 minutes on a bed of spring onions.

leftovers were still delicious two days later.


roasted aubergine with slow cooked onion and feta

my love affair with jerusalem continues. i’m still trying new recipes but am also starting to make for the second, third or more-th time some of the dishes which i’ve particularly enjoyed.

this roasted aubergine with fried onion and chopped lemon is one such dish. it’s very simple – the aubergines are halved and the flesh scored in a criss-cross pattern before roasting, skin side down, until they are golden and cooked through.

the topping is a simple of mix of slow-cooked onions to which chopped chilli, cumin, sumac and, most interestingly, feta are added. the final few minutes when these are cooked is when the feta starts to melt and integrate the flavours of the onion, chilli and spices. the final touch is a “sauce” of chopped lemon, minus the pith and skin, plus a little more chilli and garlic which adds a wonderful freshness to everything.

served at room temperature with just warmed onions and the lemon sauce, this is easy to make ahead and perfect as part of a jerusalem feast!


cavolo nero and potato pizza


on friday i had lunch at medlar (just wonderful, they really deserve their new michelin star and the menu is such good value – go if you haven’t been!) and chose a vegetarian main course – gnocchi with cavolo nero, wet walnuts and reblochon.

it was absolutely delicious and the inspiration for yesterday’s pizza – cavolo nero pesto smeared on the dough, topped with cooked sliced pink fur apple potatoes, a sprinkling of chopped smoked garlic and finished with a generous portion of mozzarella.

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preserved lemon bulgar wheat

having been ill for a week i’ve had the chance to catch up on watching a bit of tv, which has included several episodes of jamie oliver’s 15 minute meals. i like jamie’s approach to cooking, with big flavours and recipes/techniques that deliver a lot of flavour for not too much effort. variations on his bloke’s pasta is a dish which i make time and time again.

the 15 minute meals are necessarily scaled back but there are lots of interesting ideas tucked into the recipes. one which i’ve already tried out was adding a preserved lemon to bulgar wheat when you cook it. when the wheat is cooked it then gets mashed to a pulp and stirred through the wheat along with fresh parsley, to give a fresh lemony hit. i liked this a lot and can see it working well with other grains. i served this with slow-cooked neck of lamb to which i’d added some aubergine cubes – the lamb and aubergine were silky soft and richly flavoured, which contrasted perfectly with the bulgar.


aubergines with tomatoes and coriander 


last week i had four aubergines that needed using up. thankfully i remembered this wonderful nigel slater dish, which used up half of them.

he describes it as a “hot, clean and vibrant, a mouth-popping stew for scooping up with soft warm naan, or rice” and it is the sort of dish that i can easily become obsessed with – i think i made it weekly when i first found the recipe (back in 2003 apparently) and go through phases when i remember it and overindulge then need a break.

aubergines can be tricky and this is the first dish that i remember making which cooks them quite quickly and still tastes delicious – previously i’d had problems with quick-cook dishes and had decided that long and slow was the way forward. i think part of the reason this dish works so well as “a quick dish” is because the aubergines are salted and set aside for half an hour before rinsing and then cooking. traditionally aubergines were salted to draw out bitter juices, which is something that modern varieties don’t need. however, it does soften them and this is why it’s a step worth keeping in with some recipes (this being a prime example).

the chillies i used in this were fierce which meant i needed to add some greek yoghurt to cool things down. whether or not you need or want to do the same is up to you. ideally i’d make it without.

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