Friday, 17 June 2016

Marinated Baby Aubergines

Our local supermarket has started to sell bags of baby aubergines which are just perfect for cooking on the barbecue. Because of their size all you need to do is split them in half lengthwise and then thrown them on the grid, cooking with a little brush of olive oil. This way they get all smokey and melty - perfect with lamb kebabs and a lemon salsa verde. However, if you have time to make up a marinade and mix together a dressing, these little aubergines will make for a fantastic barbecue dish all on their own - perfect for any vegetarian's and special diet guys at your party - although these tasted so darn good everyone was grabbing them - so you need to make sure you cook loads!

I always feel that vegetarians have a raw deal when barbecue season comes around. They seem to be the after though - everyone is buying steaks, making meat kebabs, burgers and sausages and then they remember to grab something - probably a frozen veggie burger (yuck!) to throw on. So I love finding dishes like this - it shows you have spent time and care on their meal as well.

Recipe - enough for 10

700g baby aubergines - that equates to 2 bags from my supermarket - roughly one per person
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
large pinch dried mint
2 cloves garlic - crushed
juice large lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil - and maybe a bit more
salt and pepper

For dressing

150ml Tahini
150ml Water
Juice and zest large lemon
Fat clove garlic - crushed

Or a quantity of hummus

Split all the aubergines lengthwise. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and then pour over your aubergine halves. Make sure all the cut sides have a good coating of dressing - you may need to add more olive oil if the aubergines are really thirsty. If you have time leave to marinate for a couple of hours or over night - but 20 minutes will be fine.

Whilst they are marinating you can make up your dressing. Mix together the tahini and water until you have a smooth paste then add your lemon juice and zest. Mix in the garlic and add a good pinch of salt. Taste and add more salt if needed. Give the sauce a good stir before serving to loosen the tahini again - it has a tendency to settle out.

To cook your aubergines either place directly on the grid or use a hot plate or heavy based pan. We used this nonstick plate, the aubergines were too skinny and were falling through the grid! Keep the aubergines turning and when they are soft and the flesh is 'melty' they are done - probably about 10 minutes.

Serve with your tahini sauce or a bowl of hummus. A bowl of rice or bulgur wheat works really well with this dish.

If you want a quick sauce just thin down a shop bought tub of hummus with a little water and lemon juice - works a treat!

Have a great weekend
Love Lizx

 Baby Aubergines