The potent aubergine in no way ceases to surprise. This versatile vegetable so without problems adapts to its cause – as a filling, dressing, dip and greater – it’s hard to think about an instance whilst you wouldn’t want to apply it. Still, smoke and the flavour of the grill are what aubergine does excellent, so give yours a few great time over an open hearth, on a fish fry, in a griddle pan or in a totally warm oven. If you resist the temptation to split them from the heat earlier than they’re definitely deflated and almost burnt, you’ll be able to enjoy those silky strands of extreme flavour in a large number of interesting approaches.
Iceberg wedges with aubergine cream and superb crunchy topping (pictured above)
There’s a bucketful of crisp textures in this salad, and one sharp, creamy dressing that brings the whole thing together well. It changed into inspired through a dish I had at Aloette, a extraordinary eating place in Toronto, Canada.
Prep 25 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 4 as a aspect
1 small head iceberg lettuce (350g), cut into 12 wedges
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
25g parmesan, finely grated
45g rainbow radishes, peeled and thinly sliced (preferably on a mandoline), or use everyday radishes
2 small avocados, stoned, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small handful chives, cut into 1½cm lengths
For the aubergine cream
2 medium aubergines (600g)
2½ tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
50g greek yoghurt
2 tsp dijon mustard
60ml olive oil
For the crunchy topping
1 tbsp olive oil
60g skin-on almonds, kind of chopped
100g sourdough, crusts removed, blitzed into coarse crumbs, to get 60g
50g pumpkin seeds
⅓ tsp urfa chilli
First make the aubergine cream. Put a nicely-greased griddle pan on a high warmness and ventilate your kitchen. Poke the aubergines with a fork seven or eight instances throughout and, as soon as the pan is smoking, grill them for about 45 mins, turning on occasion, until the outsides are completely charred and the insides gentle.
Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl and, as soon as cool sufficient to address, take away the flesh; discard the stems and as plenty of the charred skin as you could. Measure out 200g aubergine flesh, and reserve any excess for another use.
Transfer to a food processor with the ultimate cream substances, half of a teaspoon of salt and a great grind of black pepper, and blitz easy.
Meanwhile, make the topping. Put the oil in a massive frying pan on a medium-excessive warmness. Once hot, add the almonds and cook, stirring often, for approximately mins. Add the bread, pumpkin seeds and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring continuously, for five minutes greater, till golden. Add the chilli, cook for every other 30 seconds, then transfer to a tray and go away to cool absolutely.
To gather, divide the lettuce wedges among 4 plates. Top each element with a teaspoon and a half of oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Spoon over the aubergine cream, accompanied through the parmesan, radishes and avocado. Sprinkle again lightly with salt and pepper, then drizzle the remaining tablespoons of oil on pinnacle. Scatter over the chives and a beneficiant assisting of the crunchy topping, and serve any more alongside.
Aubergine puree with short pickled cucumber, tahini and soy
Cutting the aubergines in half of and roasting them in the oven is a nifty trick if you don’t have a griddle pan or virtually need to avoid a smoky kitchen. But by all means cook dinner them on an out of doors barbecue if you’re looking for a few severe smoke.
Prep 10 min
Pickle 1 hr
Cook 1 hr 5 min
Serves four
1 medium cucumber, peeled, deseeded and reduce into 1½cm cubes
1 inexperienced chilli, finely sliced into rounds, seeds and all
1 lime – shave off four thin strips of peel, then cut into wedges, to serve
2 tbsp rice vinegar
Salt
four medium aubergines, reduce in 1/2 lengthways
4½ tbsp olive oil
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
three tbsp mint leaves, kind of torn
½ tsp nigella seeds
For the tahini soy dressing
30g tahini
2 tsp soy sauce, plus 1 tbsp more to serve
2 tsp mirin
2 tsp rice-wine vinegar
Heat the oven to its maximum putting – round 230C fan. Mix the cucumber and chilli with the lime peel, vinegar and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and depart to pickle for at least an hour.
Cut deep go-hatches into the flesh side of every aubergine half of, season with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt, and lay cut side up on an oven tray coated with greaseproof paper. Roast for 40 mins, till tender and properly browned, then transfer to a huge bowl, cover with clingfilm and depart to melt for 20 minutes.
While the aubergine is roasting, whisk all the dressing ingredients with two teaspoons of water till you have a very smooth sauce (it’d capture up a piece at the start, but will become clean as you whisk).
Scoop out the aubergine flesh into a easy bowl – discard the skin and stalks. Add the garlic, the pickling liquid from the cucumbers and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt, and stir everything together. Spread the aubergine aggregate on a platter, then drizzle over the dressing, observed by means of the final tablespoon and a 1/2 of olive oil and the final tablespoon of soy sauce.
Remove and discard the lime pores and skin from the pickle, then spoon the pickled cucumbers and chillies on pinnacle. Finish with the mint and nigella seeds, and serve with the lime wedges for squeezing over.
Smoky aubergine, feta and baharat parcels
The aggregate of potato, cheese and smoky aubergine makes these filo parcels in particular tough to resist. They may be prepare some hours in advance of time and baked whilst you need them. Serve as a snack with a squeeze of lemon.
Prep 20 min
Cook 2 hr
Makes 10, to serve 4
400g medium baking potatoes (ie, about 2)
900g aubergines (ie, 4 medium ones)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped (200g net weight)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and beaten
2 tsp baharat spice blend
20g tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
35g basil leaves, kind of chopped
200g feta, broken into roughly 1cm portions
130g mature cheddar, kind of grated
Salt and black pepper
2 packs of feuilles de filo pastry – you’ll want about 16-17 sheets measuring 39cm x 30cm
120g unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp nigella seeds
Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/465F/fuel nine. Bake the potatoes for 45 mins to an hour, till cooked through. Once cool enough to deal with, cut the potatoes in 1/2 and scoop out the flesh into a massive bowl. You have to have approximately 300g cooked flesh.
Meanwhile, positioned a griddle pan on a high warmness. Once hot, lay inside the aubergines and grill for about forty five minutes, until they may be smoking, the flesh is absolutely gentle and the pores and skin charred. Remove from the warmth and, once cool sufficient to address, do away with the flesh; discard the stems and skin. Put the aubergine flesh in a colander and depart for 30 minutes, pressing out and discarding any liquid. You must have about 250g flesh. Mix this with the potato.
Put the oil in a medium frying pan on a medium-high warmth. Once warm, fry the onion for eight minutes, till soft and golden brown. Add the garlic and baharat spice blend, fry for 2 minutes, until fragrant, then upload to the aubergine combination along with the herbs, cheeses, 3-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and masses of pepper, and blend together.
Take sheets of filo and cut them each in 1/2 widthways, so you have four 20cm x 30cm rectangles. Brush 3 of the sheets with the butter. Spoon 100g of the filling into the centre of 1 sheet, and spread the mixture into an 8-9cm circle that’s 2-3cm thick. Fold the two edges of the pastry on the left and proper over the filling, then fold over the top and backside edges, fully encasing the filling. Turn the parcel upside down (ie, edges down) and lay it on top of a second buttered filo sheet. Wrap it up again in precisely the identical way, then positioned upside down at the 1/3 buttered filo sheet and wrap again. Brush the top with butter and lay in a excessive-sided baking tray coated with greaseproof paper. Repeat with the remaining filo, butter and filling, the usage of up the spare filo rectangle from the first batch as you cross. You may additionally need two trays to accommodate all the parcels.
Sprinkle every parcel with nigella seeds and bake for 25-half-hour, till crisp and golden brown (some of the parcels may additionally break up barely, but any butter that seeps out will get drawn returned in as they cool). Leave to cool for 10 mins before serving.

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