Tag Archives | aubergine

roasted tomato and red pepper pasta with and aubergine and olives

roasted tomato and red pepper pasta with and aubergine and olives

I have become somewhat obsessed with Piedmontese Peppers and all the flavours of this very simple and exquisite dish. I wanted to try to capture some of that with this pasta. I love roasted aubergine too so added that in, along with a good handful of back olives, cherry tomatoes and torn basil leaves. It’s a dry pasta vs one drowned in the ubiquitous red sauce. The peppers and tomatoes give off amazing juice during the roasting which together with the olive oil makes an adequate coating for my pasta. I add lots of grated Parmesan to finish it off too.

I add the anchovies at the end like you would with Piedmontese Peppers. This way you max out on their flavour and they don’t disintegrate during the cooking. Add as much as you like, but I think 2 – 3 tablespoons is amazing. Continue Reading →

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roast leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic, harissa and lemon + easter feast

Roast leg of lamb with rosemary, garlic, lemon and harissa

When it comes to roasting an expensive leg of lamb I tend to be quite stuck in my ways. The recipe I love and always turn to is Jamie Oliver’s four-hour shoulder of lamb from his book ‘Jamie At Home’, and it’s perfect in its simplicity. Other than the delicious flavour of rosemary and garlic, which is excellent with lamb, it’s the method that I am particularly fond of. Whether you roast a shoulder or a leg, the outcome is the most succulent fall-off the bone meat imaginable. It also requires so little effort it literally cooks itself. Continue Reading →

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grilled and baked aubergine ‘pizza’

aubergine pizza

I have felt so inspired to make slightly less conventional dishes on my new Big Green Egg, after all it is so much more than just a braai / barbecue, its an outdoor cooking system.

I fired it up and thought to do a combo of grilling thick aubergine slices, topping them with typical pizza items, and then converting the egg to ‘oven’ mode to finish them off. Its clever like that.

Make as many as you need as a side dish or as a main event. Add whatever you think will work well. I used ingredients from a Melanzane Parmigiana, so this is sort of a deconstructed – re constructed version of that, and a wonderful low carb option if you are so inclined.

You will need: Continue Reading →

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roasted aubergine wedges with hummus

roast aubergine wedges with avo hummus

As a massive fan of hummus I was very intrigued about the Mediterranean Delicacies Avo Hummus variant and am so pleased I finally got to try it.  Its much creamier than hummus with a delicate avocado taste that marries so well with the chickpeas and the tahini.

My mind immediately started  thinking up exciting ways to use this unique and innovative product.

You could use it in all the ways you would normally use hummus such as:

  • a dip for vegetables, crackers of crisps
  • with bread, pita, bagels, naan, pretzles, breadsticks
  • as a spread for sandwiches, pitas or wraps
  • smeared on cucumber slices or dolloped onto lettuce leaves or baked potatoes

delicious smooth and creamy avo hummus

Since hummus is of Middle Eastern origin, and meaning ‘chickpea’ in Arabic, a natural accompaniment is aubergine, also knows as brinjal or eggplant. Widely used in Middle Eastern cooking, it goes brilliantly with hummus.

There are also so many exciting things you can scatter over a bowl or plate of hummus to give it the X factor (not that it particularly needs it), like: chopped olives, slices of pepper, sprouts, pickled chillies and paprika.

I decided to bake aubergine wedges, getting them as close to a chip as is possible, and scattered over pomegranate seeds, sea salt and a light spray of chopped parsley.

The debate on whether you need to salt the aubergine slices before cooking or not still seems to rage.  I have to admit that I abandoned this practice years ago as I find it painfully time consuming and I had heard so many chefs say it was unnecessary.  I still however see so many recipes where they get pre-salted, so in order to put my mind fully to rest on the matter I decided to do my own trial.  I cut up one medium aubergine into 8 wedges and salted them, allowing the juices to run out for about an hour. I then dried them with paper towel and roasted them in the oven with another aubergine which I had not salted.

Pre heat the oven to 180C and brush down a baking tray with olive oil.  Place the wedges on the baking tray (I started with skin side down to start) and lightly brush the vegetables with a bit more olive oil and bake for 40 minutes.  I turned then onto their side about half way through and then again onto the other side for the last 10 minutes.

*Verdict*….insert drum roll here…….. Absolutely no difference apart from the salty ones being more salty. I shall continue to cook them the way I always have and perhaps snickering a little to myself when I see people going to all the unnecessary effort.

Arrange on a plate with a bowl of the avo hummus and serve with crispy pita toasts or crackers. Spread a layer of the hummus, top with the aubergine wedges, sprinkle over a few  pomegranate seeds which pop in your mouth adding a slight sweet burst of flavour.

salty and creamy with a burst of sweetness

 

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*Mediterranean Delicacies can be found at select Pick n Pay, Shoprite Checkers, Spar, Fruit & Veg City and independent retailers nationwide.

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