Aubergine Queen: a gluten-free luncheon of champions

Grilled aubergines

BBC Food grilled aubergines – their pic not mine

I saw this on Simon Hopkinson’s Sunday morning BBC show many moons ago when I was obviously too ill to go out and do something with my life.

I had this for lunch today, thank you BBC and SH:

The grill got a good workout and the aubergine ended up succulently soft, perfectly complemented by the juicy olive oil and creamy feta.  I added a rocket salad which added a perky peppery flavour, along with some mixed nuts.  All in all, a healthy, nutritious and delicious eating escapade.

BBC/SH ingredients and recipe – this is not my own recipe!:

  • 4 long, thin-skinned purple aubergines (alternatively use the ordinary plump, pear-shaped variety available from most supermarkets – I used the plumpy pear one)

  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (I didn’t use these, but by all means do)

  • handful parsley leaves, finely chopped

  • 5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • a little sea salt and black pepper

  • 150g/5oz feta cheese

  • lemons, for serving

    1. Preheat the grill to high.
    2. Run a small, sharp knife round the top of the aubergine, 1cm/½in or so below the stalk and only just cutting through the skin; then make four evenly spaced, similarly shallow cuts, along the length of the aubergine right down to the end.
    3. Grill the aubergines for about 20 minutes, turning every 5-7 minutes or so, until evenly cooked with charred skin, and until the aubergine feels soft, but not too collapsed within. In the case of the purple aubergines, the skin will also have turned a dull brown colour. Transfer to a large, oval, white plate and allow to cool for two minutes.
    4. Peel away the aubergine skin in four long, narrow sheets using a small knife. Without cutting right through the stalk end, cut the aubergines in half lengthways and gently prise apart until you have two horizontal halves remaining attached at the top end
    5. Mix the garlic and parsley with the olive oil until well combined and spoon the mixture over the aubergine. Season lightly with salt (not too much – the cheese is salty anyway) and pepper, and crumble the feta cheese over the top. If liked, trickle over more olive oil to finish.
    6. Serve warm, or at room temperature with lemon squeezed over.

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