These Italian aubergines are so creamy and delicious, I love them. This recipe is fantastic as a side dish to pasta for dinner or just with or on crusty bread for lunch. Its got all the Italian flavours of basil, pine nuts and parmesan with lots of garlic and olive oil. It’s also best served at room temperature like a salad so you can prepare it in advance and eat it at your leisure…
Freekah is fast becoming the new superfood. It’s a baby green wheat which has been roasted which gives it a slightly smoky flavour and it’s much higher in protein and fibre than quinoa and has a much better texture and flavour. It can be added to stir fries and salads. If you google its health benefits they are endless. You can use it as you would quinoa and I buy it ready cooked from the supermarket in a bag made by Merchant Gourmet(or you can cook it from scratch) This healthy salad recipe is middle eastern in its style of flavours with cinnamon and smoked paprika. It’s perfect with other salads, roasts or humus and bread. It’s also a perfect lunch with a dollop of garlicky yogurt.
I love the way the Japanese cook aubergines and I wanted to create a recipe which reminds me of eating it in their restaurants. This recipe is a delicious way to cook them and has lovely textures and is a bit crunchy with the ginger matchsticks. They are packed with flavour so they would be great with baked fish, salads and rice. Perfect as a little starter or a side dish.
I love trying new ways of cooking tasty vegan food, and I particularly love aubergines. Because the aubergines are babies they cook differently to large aubergines, they are tender but at the same time they stay firm. I adapted this recipe from an Indian cookbook called 50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi.
I have cooked this for dinner parties with basmati rice, salad and papadums and it is always a huge hit. It looks impressive and it’s tasty, sweet and savoury and has all the lovely flavours of delicious Indian spices. I sometimes serve it with a dollop of dairy free yogurt or kefir too.
This tajine has all the flavours of a tasty Moroccan dish. It’s perfect for a warming supper or dinner party now it’s colder. It has that lovely combo of savoury and sweet because it’s got delicious spices and dried apricots in it. It’s super easy as it’s all baked in the oven and needs little attention. Perfect if you are busy. I serve it with saffron couscous, garlicky yogurt (Alpro have just started doing a sugar free plain yogurt) and my Moroccan orange salad, recipe in the index, and it’s a big hit with vegetarians and non vegetarians.
I have never met anyone that doesn’t love Melanzane Parmigiana. This is pretty much the recipe my Italian grandmother passed on to her children and with nearly all of my recipes I look at loads of versions of them and take the best bits from each one to create what I think is the perfect hybrid, and that’s what I’ve done with this Sicilian recipe. I really love aubergine and this version of melanzane parmigiana that I have created is great because it’s spot on in the flavour department. It’s low carb and great with meat and/or salad because its really satisfying as well as delicious. You could also serve it with pasta. Tonight, I’m testing it on friends (cooked the night before and reheated in their oven) I’ll get back to you on what they think.
Yes! They really really loved it……
Serves 6 (but you can halve the ingredients)
4 aubergines sliced into thinish slices , approx one pound coin thick which can be lengthwise or in discs
2 tablespoons of olive oil plus more for the aubergines
1 red onion finely sliced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
2 400g tins of plum tomatoes
a sprig of oregano or a teaspoon of dried
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
200g of thinly sliced mozzarella
100g of freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Oil a baking tray, place the slices of aubergine on the tray in a single layer and make sure the upper side of the aubergine is sprayed or brushed with oil too.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until brown, you may have to do this in batches. Then set aside.
In a large saucepan, fry the onion gently in the olive oil for about five minutes.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, maple syrup and red wine vinegar.
Gently bring to the boil and let it gently bubble for about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Like a lasagna, in a deepish baking dish layer the aubergine in a single layer first and then sprinkle with some Parmesan and slices of mozzarella then a layer of tomato sauce, repeat until all the ingredients are used up.
To get a crispy top, finish with a layer of the aubergine topped with the Parmesan, bake at 180°C for 40-50 minutes or until getting brown, you might want to put tin foil over the top for the first 20 minutes if you don’t want it too crispy, however I like it a bit burnt as the cheese goes a bit Welsh rarebity. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: if you want it a bit less oily, you can boil the aubergines whole for 20 minutes, allow to cool and then slice and put them in the recipe.
Like pesto, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven when I first tried caponata. It’s the most delicious Italian aubergine stew that’s served at room temperature. It’s great with antipasti, on bread or as part of a salad. You could even leave it hot and serve it on pasta with lots of Parmesan. Even nicer the next day after its cooked.
4 teaspoons maple syrup or sugar
5 tablespoons olive oil
A few aubergines cut into 1 inch chunks
1 medium onion finely cubed
4 garlic cloves minced
1 400g tin of chopped plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of baby capers
A handful of pine nuts
A handful of chopped basil
I cooked this for a couple of vegetarian friends recently and they adored it. It’s got all the right tastes and textures and its dairy free.