I don't really have any feelings about aubergines as they are tasteless. However, I decided to make an effort to become fond of the blighters by doing something a little different with them. Here is the result, which is based on an Italian influenced Nigel Slater recipe in his book Tender: Volume I, A cook and his vegetable patch (ISBN 0007248490). I will certainly make this little dish again.
- 2 large aubergines, thickly sliced, but NOT peeled
- Olive oil
- sea salt
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- 1-2 bulbs garlic, crushed or finely chopped
- 2 or more hot red chillies, finely chopped
- 500 g tomatoes, chopped
- Parmesan cheese, to taste, finely grated
- Preheat the oven to 220° C (425° F - gas 7), placing a shelf at the top of the oven.
- Place the aubergine slices on a baking tray so that they do not overlap - use more than one try if necessary.
- Brush the slices with plenty of olive oil and lightly sprinkle the salt and pepper over them.
- Turn them over and do the same to the other sides.
- Bake at the top of the oven for about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a pan, add the garlic and chillies and quickly fry, without them turning brown.
- Add the tomatoes and cook until any liquid has almost evaporated and you have a thick sludge of tomato mixture.
- When the aubergines are ready spread the tomato mixture over each slice.
- Finally, sprinkle the Parmesan over each slice and bake for a further 10 minutes or until the cheese has cooked.
Serve with ciabatta.
If you find that the skins of the aubergines are tough, just remove the skins as you eat the slices. Do not peel them before cooking or the slices will lose their shape and become mushy.
The amount of Parmesan you use is up to you. Just grate a reasonable quantity of it and see how much you can pile onto the aubergine slices. Any left over cheese can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container.
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