I have loads of cookbooks, some barely opened. Stuart likes to complain about how many I have and how they just seem to sit looking pretty on the shelf. So, to prove to him that all the cookbooks are great and essential, I have set myself a challenge to cook at least one dish from a cookbook on the shelf each week.
So, this weeks book is Sophie Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights. Now, the TV program that went with this book seriously annoyed me – it was so sickly twee. However, I was strangely addicted and ended up buying the book. This is actually its first outing, and I choose the Aubergine Parmigiana.
Reasonably straight forward, not very much effort, and in fact not particularly healthy given the amount of cheese you put in it – but definitely tasty!
Aubergine Parmigiana (servers 4-6)
3 Medium Sized Aubergines
125ml Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, sliced
2 cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 x 400g Cans of chopped Tomatoes
1 tbsp. Soft Brown Sugar
Salt and Pepper
Thick Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
50g Fresh Basil, chopped
300g Buffalo Mozzarella
100g Grated Parmesan
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6
Slice the aubergine lengthways into 1cm thick slices
Lay them on them on a flat surface and sprinkle them generously with sea salt. Leave for 20 mins
In a large saucepan heat some of the olive oil, and gently sweat the onions and garlic
Add the tomatoes and brown sugar. Simmer for about 20 mins. [You can add the balsamic vinegar at this point if you wish – I did]
Put the aubergine slices on a baking tray in a single layer. Brush with Olive oil and bake for about 15 mins, until they start to turn golden
Grease a largish baking dish with some olive oil
Remove the aubergines from the oven and arrange a layer of them in the dish
Sprinkle some basil, add some mozzarella slices, some of the tomato sauce and then add some Parmesan.
Keep layering like this until everything is used up
Top with more Parmesan and basil, then bake for 20mins
I served this with a nice salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes and red onion dressed with a little lemon juice and olive oil.