Thursday, 24 September 2009

50 ways with an aubergine?

This was the first dish we made at the Istanbul cookery class, and I reckon it was the biggest hit. Apparently the Turkish have about 50 ways of cooking aubergine, and if you've ever eaten at a Turkish restaurant - at home or in Turkey - you can see that this is likely!

Aubergines with Onion & Tomato
Serves 2 as a side dish

2 aubergines
1 green pepper, chopped
1 large onion (or 3 shallots), finely sliced
3 large tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
Squeeze of tomato puree
6 cloves garlic, finelly chopped
bunch parsley, dill and basil, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
150ml olive/sunflower oil
60ml water
Slices of green pepper and tomato

1. Remove bottom inch of each aubergine, but leave stalk intact. Peel skin in strips, leaving some on to allow aubergine to retain shape.
2. Gently fry onion, garlic and peppers until cooked and soft. Add the tomatoes and puree and stir well.
3. In deepish (one inch) hot oil fry the aubergines gently until brown all over (about 5-8 mins). Drain on kitchen paper.
4. Add water and salt to the tomato mix to make a soup-like consistency. Simmer until this has cooked down.
5. Arrange aubergines in a tray or oven dish and pack the veg and tomato mixture all around. Arrange slices of pepper and tomato over the whole tray.
6. Cook in the oven (180C) for about 15-20 minutes and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and some warm, fresh pide bread.

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