VegetablesAlison Lambert


VegetablesAlison Lambert
Aubergine/eggplant whatever you may know it as I do realise it isn’t one of our more commonly used vegetables. On my travels I started seeing these purple, sometimes white aubergines which were of all shapes and descriptions at markets more and more and I tasted dishes like babaganosh which was smoky, creamy and mysterious, I remember in the Alps ordering aubergine baked in a rich tomato sauce and covered in cheese, in Italy it was commonly char-grilled over coals and marinated and served for antipasti’s or tossed through a salad. As you can imagine when I returned home and discovered growers like Kakanui produce experimenting with different varieties I was very excited.

Aubergine/eggplant would be in my top 10 of vegetables not only for its very distinctive flavour but also for vast array of dishes you can make from it.

The combination of fresh tomatoes stewed together with the aubergine is sublime – it works well on its own with some bread to dunk in or partners perfectly with some grilled lamb chops. It will keep well in the fridge if covered with a layer of oil for a good week or so.

Serves 4
2 large aubergines (eggplants), remove pointy tops and cut into large cubes
100ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400g very ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks (or 1 tin drained tomatoes)
10 fresh basil leaves, torn into big pieces
Salt and pepper to taste

When cooking aubergines, don't be put off by the fact that they soak up a lot of the oil like a sponge; just continue cooking.
Heat a large frypan up to hot and add the aubergine and fry until brown on all sides. Add the garlic and fry for 1 more minute. Add the tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat, then add a generous pinch of salt and pepper and the basil. Let the flavours combine for a few more minutes.
Great hot or cold!