Sunday, 27 May 2012

Morrocan Aubergine

Another aubergine dish, following on from the Caponata a couple of weeks ago.  This simple recipe packs a flavour punch, and is at its best served at room temperature or cold, with extra oil drizzled over.  It is very adaptable and would serve 4-6 as an appetizer with pitta bread, or 4 people for a main course if you added a tin of chick peas and some wilted spinach.  However you have it, it is delicious and qualifies for the 'under a fiver' category.  In 3 tablespoons of olive oil, saute a large sliced onion until soft and translucent, over a medium heat.  Turn up the heat and add a large aubergine, cut into half-inch cubes, and toss and fry until soft and the flesh is turning golden in places.  It will soak up the oil - don't add any more, but sprinkle in a tablespoon or so of water if it dries out too much, and regulate the heat if necessary.  Throw in three cloves of chopped garlic, along with 2 teaspoons of ground cumin and half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes.  Stir for a moment, then add 4 or 5 chopped ripe tomatoes (you can skin them if you like, but I didn't bother).  Simmer for 10 minutes with a lid on until the tomatoes collapse and give off their juices.  Now, allow to cool to room temperature and stir in some chopped coriander and mint.  Taste for salt and pepper, squeeze in the juice from half a lemon, drizzle on some of your very best extra virgin olive oil and serve.  By the way, I elected to serve mine with some pieces of spankingly-fresh sustainable cod, dusted with some Ras-al Hanout and drizzled with oil, then grilled until just cooked.  With more lemon squeezed over, it was a perfect meal for a warm evening.

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