Aideen's Aubergine with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemon
A great quick and easy recipe for aubergines. Lemon zest can be used instead of preserved lemon.
5 tbsp olive oil
500g aubergine, cut into half moons 1cm thick
salt and pepper
1 chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small preserved lemon
1 teasp ground cumin
1 teasp sweet paprika
pinch chilli flakes
1 tin tomatoes
2 teasp caster sugar
1 tin chickpeas
handful coriander leaves
Heat olive oil in frying pan and fry aubergines with a pinch of salt for 10 min, stirring often, until the flesh turns brown. Put to one side
Fry onions and garlic with pinch of salt over lowish heat for 10 min until soft and sweet.
Meanwhile, scoop out the fpulp and pips of the preserved lemon and cut the skin into shreds. Add the peel to the onion mixture, add the spices and cook for a couple more minutes.
Mix in tomatoes, sugar and chickpeas, as well as 150ml water. Season again, and simmer for 5-10 min and then add the aubergine. Simmer again for 5 min. Taste and season again.
Stand for 10 min, season again if needed and splash with bit of extra virgin olive oil. Serve with rice, couscous, pasta or bread.
Basic Tomato Sauce
If you would like a change from ready-made tomato passata, try this tasty recipe. This should end up as a nice chunky sauce, and it's great with pasta.
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
125g (4 1/4oz) rashers, chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
450g (1lb) fresh, ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped (see note)
1x400g (14oz) tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
Note: To skin tomatoes, dip them whole into a bowl of boiling water and leave them for about 60 seconds. Lift them out and the skin should peel off quite easily.
Put the finely chopped garlic and onion into a saucepan with the butter and the olive oil. Fry until softened. Lift out with a perforated spoon. Add the chopped rashers and fry until golden. Add the grated carrot, the skinned, chopped, fresh tomatoes, the tinned tomatoes, and the tomato puree. Add the balsamic vinegar. Return the cooked garlic and onion to the pan. Add the dried oregano and season well with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and the sugar. With the lid off, cook until everything becomes soft, and until a nice consistency is obtained.
Mix tomatoes, onions, salt and pepper and stand overnight.
Next day, boil vinegar and sugar. Add raisins and sultanas and simmer for 5 min. Add all other ingredients and simmer until thick.
While still hot, bottle in steralised jars.
1 kg cucumber
8 oz white onions
2 tblsp salt
8 oz sugar
350 ml white wine/malt vinegar
1 tblsp mustard seed
1 teasp celery seeds/chopped fresh celery
1 teasp tumeric
Lge pinch cayenne pepper/chilli flakes
Add salt to cucumber and onions and leave in collander at least 2 hours to drain.
Put all other ingredients in a large pan and cook until sugar melts. Add cucumber and onion and cook for 30 min. Make sure it boils for at least 5 min.
Allow to cool, then bottle in steralised jars.
Veg Patch Stew
Nigel Slater's easy stew is perfect for a bounty of summer vegetables. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.
extra virgin olive oil
3 medium-sized courgettes
4 peppers, orange or red
2 medium onions
2 garlic cloves
the leaves from 3 sprigs of marjoram
the leaves from 4 sprigs of flatleaf parsley
the leaves from 3 bushy sprigs of thyme
3 medium tomatoes
15-20 cherry tomatoes
1 x 680g/1lb 8oz jar passata
3 bay leaves
about 12 basil leaves
Cut the aubergine in half and slice it into thick pieces about the width of a little fingernail.
Warm a thin layer of olive oil in a large pan. Be prepared to add more later. Add the aubergine slices and let them colour lightly on both sides, adding more oil as necessary. (Aubergines drink lots of oil.) Remove the aubergines from the pan and set them aside.
Add a little more oil to the pan. Cut the courgettes into long, thin strips and colour lightly in the oil, remove and set aside. While they are cooking, cut the peppers into six, removing and discarding the seeds and pith as you go. Cook the peppers in a little oil until they start to soften and then remove them.
Peel and thickly slice the onions. Add them to the pan and let them cook, with a little more oil if necessary, until they are soft and pale golden-brown. Peel and slice the garlic and add to the pan with the roughly chopped leaves of marjoram, parsley and thyme. Roughly chop the larger tomatoes and add them to the pan, along with the whole cherry tomatoes. Pour in the tomato passata and mix well. Leave to simmer for 10 minutes then add the bay leaves, some salt and black pepper.
Put the aubergine back into the pan and cook for five minutes or so before adding the peppers. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, then stir in the courgettes. Partially cover with a lid and leave to simmer gently for 25 -30 minutes, or until all is soft and slushy, but the vegetables are still distinct and recognisable. Stir in the torn basil leaves and serve.