HASSELBACK AUBERGINE PARMIGIANA – Serves 4
1 large onion, chopped
5 tbsps. olive oil
3 crushed garlic cloves
2 tbsps. tomato puree
500mls. tomato passata
400g. tin chopped tomatoes
2 1/2 tsps. dried oregano
1 tsp. caster sugar
large pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
2 large aubergines
50g. grated Parmesan
1 mozzarella ball
30g. dried breadcrumbs
small handful fresh basil
- Heat the oven to 200C fan / gas mark 7. In a large frying pan heat 1 tbsp. of the oil and fry the onion for 5 minutes. Add garlic fry for one more minute. Then add the tomato puree and fry for a further minute.
- Pour in the passata, chopped tomatoes, 2 tsps. dried oregano, the caster sugar and chilli if using. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until slightly reduced. Pour the sauce into your baking dish.
- Take the aubergines and make widthways cuts at 1cm. intervals, three quarters of the way through, so the slices are still attached at the bottom. Drizzle with 3 tbsps. olive oil, getting into the cuts. Spoon a little tomato sauce into the cuts, along with 30g. grated Parmesan. Arrange the aubergines in the baking dish on top of the sauce and bake for 30 minutes or until the aubergines are slightly charred.
- Cut the mozzarella ball into 6 – 8 pieces then dot over the aubergines. In a small bowl mix the dried breadcrumbs with 20g. grated Parmesan, 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano. Sprinkle over the aubergines and bake for a further 20 – 30 minutes until the cheese is golden and the aubergines are tender. Top with fresh basil and serve with crusty bread and a green salad.
BEETROOT SALAD = Serves 4
2 medium beetroot
dash olive oil
20g. blanched almonds
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 red eating apple cut into 2cm cubes
1 green eating apple cut into 2cm. cubes
1/2 small red onion sliced
handful fresh herbs
salt and pepper
150g. plain yogurt
1 lime, zest and juice
2 tsps. runny honey
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.
- Line a baking tray with kitchen foil and place the beetroot in the middle. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil. Wrap the foil around the beetroots, seal and bake for 1 hour.
- Place a small frying pan over a low heat and toast the nuts and cumin seeds for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Peel and cut the beetroot into 2cm. cubes and place in a large, glass bow. Stir in the apple, nuts, seeds and herbs.
- To make the dressing mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Just before serving dress the salad and mix well.
The best Mozzarella is buffalo mozzarella. You could use Parmigiano Reggiano rather than Parmesan, or even a strong Cheddar if you wished.
Do not prepare the beetroot salad too much in advance as the apple will discolour. If preparing it slightly in advance toss the apple in lemon juice which will stop them going brown.
When toasting the nuts and seeds do be careful as they burn very easily. Do not have your heat too high.