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Baked Aubergine Imam – A Guest Recipe from Alexandra Dudley

GUEST RECIPE / MAIN DISHES / SUMMER / AUTUMN

INGREDIENTS

(Serves 4 or 6-8 as a side)
  • X 3 large aubergine or 4 smaller ones
  • 2 medium onions finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 box/bunch of cherry tomatoes halved (about 250g)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (plus more to finish)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • rapeseed or coconut oil for frying

With our organic heritage tomato crop in full bloom at the farm, we are always on the look out for delicious recipes to make use of each sweet variety. Taken from the brilliant cookbook ‘Land and Sea’ by Alexandra Dudley this is just the dish for a hearty Meat Free Monday supper or a flavourful side with organic lamb and minted yoghurt.

Alexandra is a great believer in reducing food waste wherever possible and often turns to this recipe when cherry tomatoes are just on the turn – a bit too soft to add crunch to a salad but perfect in a thick tomatoey sauce. Read more about Alexandra’s zero waste cookery tips here.

“Of all the places I have been the Greek islands are probably my favourite. I love the people, the sea, the way the villages and towns stay alive with children playing in the streets till the very early hours. Most of all however, I love the food. Something I always look forward to whenever I find the time to travel to these fantastic islands is Aubergine Imam. Rich and meaty the aubergine is cooked slowly in a thick tomato sauce. This recipe is perfect as a side or a main and goes very well with some sourdough to mop up the juices.”

METHOD

DIFFICULTY: Easy

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.

Chop of the stalk from the aubergine and slice the aubergine lengthways about 1cm thick.

Place your onions on a low heat in about a tablespoon of rapeseed oil and soften them. You may want to add a little water to help with the softening process. Add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, thyme, parsley and salt and pepper and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a separate pan brush your aubergine in a little olive oil and lightly lightly fry the aubergine on both sides to give it some colour. You do not need to cook it through.

Once evenly browned remove the aubergine and arrange the slices  to cover the bottom of a rectangular oven proof dish (measuring about 30cm by 20cm). Cover this with a layer of the tomato sauce repeating this layering stage with aubergine and tomato. You may find you have two layers or three depending on the dimensions of your pan. Make sure you finish with a layer of the tomato sauce.

Bake for around 40 to 45 minutes.

This dish is delicious hot or cold and goes wonderfully well with a good sourdough loaf to mop up the sauce.

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