On the advice of an Aunt I made an aubergine salad last night. Having set out my ten aubergine recipes last week she reminded me that Simon Hopkinson has a chapter on them in his book Roast Chicken & Other Stories – once voted the best cookbook ever.
She directed me to page 19 and an Elizabeth David recipe. It was straightforward to cook as I made a vast bowl of chicken noodle soup for various kids to eat.
The veg shop is selling vast Spanish onions – some of them almost six inches wide. We’d had one of these onions for lunch on top of the pizza and I used up the second for the salad.
It was cut into slices and then left to cook down in a wide pan with olive oil – the same pan I had used for lunch. After half an hour or so the onions was soft and glistening gold. I stirred in eight chopped plum tomatoes and a mix of spices – cumin, all-spice and cayenne. That all cooked some more whilst I sorted the aubergine.
The recipe suggested that you use your largest frying pan. I used a wok. The recipe was ambivalent as to the need to salt the aubergines. I tend to do it but rather than rinsing and drying them off in a tea towel I like to take up the pieces in my hand and squeeze out the moisture in my fist.
Having done that I put them in a bowl and stirred in some more olive oil. The wok then went on a very high heat and as it started to smoke I tipped in the aubergines. They seethed and spluttered and cooked quickly filling the kitchen with smoke.
Once the aubergines were done I poured the onion/tomato mixture over them and stirred it in with chopped mint and basil. The recipe had coriander instead of the basil but I had the basil in front of me and it needed eating. Writing this now I realise I forgot to stir in some chopped garlic at the end.
We ate it anyway with couscous and some tuna steaks and very good it was to.
So thank you to Gill for reminding me. I should also thank her for giving me the book for my birthday some years ago – although according to the card that is still inside it was late!