Thursday, 15 October 2015

Aubergine and Feta bake

Well, I warned you that for the next few weeks it would be Greek inspired recipes all the way and here's my first one!

As soon as we got back I headed straight for the shops and loaded up with feta, aubergines, herbs, lamb, lemons and olives - to mention just a little of what went in the basket! I hadn't cooked a meal for over a week and I was missing it! It sounds wonderful, a whole week away, not having to shop or plan meals or cook but when I was only a few days into the holiday I really missed it. I love shopping for ingredients and making up recipes - in the end I had to wander around the markets just to get a feel for the foods and couldn't resist buying a few avocados - I prepared them in our room - we ate them doused with fresh lime juice and a little salt - sitting on our balcony, watching the sunset - perfect.

One of the restaurants we visited cooked all the food in a large wood oven and one of our favourite dishes (we went back twice to eat it!) was aubergine and feta baked in a simple tomato sauce. It was so tasty eaten with loads of flat bread to mop up the tomato juices.

As soon as we got back I knew that I wanted to try to recreate it - it was really hot the Sunday we got home so we decided to try and stay in the holiday mood and cook on the barbecue - and this dish was what went on first! - it was such a simple dish I think I got it about right.

Recipe - serves 2

1 large aubergine - cut into bite size cubes
1 block of feta
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 red onion
2 teaspoons oregano
salt and pepper
some sprigs fresh thyme

Pre-heat oven to 180C/ Gas 4 or light the wood oven or your barbecue

First of all you need to blanch your aubergines. Either place them in a bowl with a few tablespoons of water, cover and cook on high in your microwave for 2-3 minutes or plunge them into boiling water and then refresh in cold water. You need to take the rawness from them but keep them al dente.

Once you've sorted the aubergines you need to make up your sauce. Peel and roughly chop your red onion and place in a food mixer. Add half the tin of tomatoes and pulse until you have a smooth sauce. Add 1 teaspoon or oregano, salt and pepper then set aside.

Cut your feta into similar size cubes to your aubergine. Place the aubergine and feta in a bowl and pour over the sauce, add the rest of the tin of tomatoes and fold it all together - be gentle so you don't break up the feta. Pour it all into your baking dish, sprinkle over the rest of the oregano and add the sprigs of thyme.

Pop in your oven (wood or otherwise..) or place on your barbecue (which we did) and cook for about 25 minutes. In that time the sauce will have thickened and the aubergines cooked through. The beauty of the feta is it doesn't melt and takes on a lovely soft texture.

This dish is perfect on it's own as a starter served with bread or pitta and it goes great with salads and as a side dish - so it's a really versatile recipe - I will be serving this one up a lot!

Have a great day
Love Lizx
 Aubergine and Feta