Sunday, 30 August 2009

Baked aubergines with cinnamon, pinenuts and coriander

We spent the day yesterday at friends for a big family party, all cooking in the kitchen together. My contribution was a couscous salad and a vaguely middle-eastern baked aubergine salad which everbody seemed to like and as aubergines are at their best right now I thought I'd share it. I used an interesting cinnamon, apricot and date seasoning mix they happened to have in their storecupboard but cinnamon would work equally well

Serves 8-10
1 kg of aubergines
6 tbsp olive oil
3 medium-sized onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ras el hanout (optional)
1 heaped tbsp of tomato paste or red tapenade
600g fresh tomatoes, skinned and chopped or 1 1/2 400g tins of tomatoes
1 tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)
50g toasted pinenuts
About 3 tbsp each of finely chopped coriander and parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the aubergines into cubes, sprinkle with salt and leave in a colander for about 30 minutes. Rinse, pat dry and tip into a large roasting tin. Drizzle over some olive oil, season with pepper and roast at about 190°C/Gas 5 for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook the chopped onions in the remaining oil for about 8-10 minutes until soft, add the chopped garlic, cook for a couple of minutes then stir in the cinnamon and ras el hanout if using and the tomato paste or tapenade, Cook for a minute then add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down. Add a splash of red wine vinegar to sharpen if needed. Tip the sauce over the aubergines, adding a couple of tablespoons of water and return to the oven for around 30 minutes until the aubergine is lightly browned, stirring it half way through. Remove from the oven and stir in the pinenuts and fresh herbs, saving a few for decoration. Leave until cool and check the seasoning adding salt and pepper to taste if you think it needs it. Scatter with a few more herbs before serving. This makes a great vegetarian main course but is also very good, as we had it, with grilled lamb and couscous salad.


foodbin said...

i love aubergines done in any style.

theundergroundrestaurant said...

Sounds gorgeous...

Sol said...

went to Bath today. And in the window of the Kitchener or is that the Kitchen. anyways the kitchen equipment shop on quiet street in bath.

in the window, blinking at me as I went into find an oil drizzly spouty thing was your book.

your Book Front and centre, of the window display! If I had, had my camera I would have taken a picture for you. unfortunately I didnt

Fiona Beckett said...

I suppose the fact that my publisher resides in Bath has something to do with it, Slice of Life, but nonetheless very gratifying news! Thank you for letting me know. And glad you like the sound of the recipe foodbin and undergroundrestaurant

Anonymous said...

My new girlfriend has confessed that aubergines are her most favourite food - so thanks for that! I think brownie points are on the way, ha ha!

Fiona Beckett said...

Aubergines are a good thing to be addicted to. Better than chocolate ;-)

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