This is one of my wife Becca's favourite recipes of mine, even though she doesn't usually like aubergines. The key is to cook it for ages which develops the flavour and texture so it is rich and soft without being slimy or squishy.
It can be used as a vegetarian or vegan main or side dish and variations include adding garlic and a parmesan topping (clearly not vegan option if you do this!). I would expect the quantities here to serve six but we ate the lot between four of us. My sister and her boyfriend were visiting so I wanted to cook a great meal for them; it went down really well with everyone.
I love cooking when I am not working on my inventions. I am currently working on a biobattery (but that's a secret...) and am close to launching my new ZenPods Moulded Earphones on my website at https://zenplugs.com/zenplugs-molded-earphones. They are great for audiophiles on a budget as they improve the sound from standard earphones for a lot less than the cost of audiologically moulded earphones.
Three large aubergines
Mugful of green olives
Mugful of black olives (I prefer the dried salty ones in a jar to the ones in brine)
Dessertspoonful of lemon juice
Four medium sized onions
Tube tomato puree
Tin chopped tomatoes
Heaped teaspoon dried herbs de Provence
Handful of fresh coriander
Half teaspoon cayenne pepper
Generous tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Lots of salt
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Step 1: The Aubergines
Wash the aubergines and chop them into roughly 2cm cubes. Put them in a big pan and cover them in salt. Mix them well with a wooden spoon, cover them in salt again, them mix again. Put them to one side for about 10-15 minutes whilst you prepare the other vegetables.
The salt draws out a light yellow liquid, reducing bitterness.
Step 2: The Onions
Chop the onions small, roughly up to a cm square. Heat the oil on a medium heat and fry the onions until lightly brown.
Step 3: Mix Together
Wash the salt off the aubergine well, a colander might be useful for doing this. Don't forget or the dinner will be ruined! Add the fried onions, olives, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, coriander, lemon juice, herbs, cayenne pepper and a quarter teaspoon of salt, unless you used the salty black olives in the jar in which case I wouldn't add any salt. Pepper to taste. I put about 10 twists in. Mix thoroughly.
Step 4: Baking Tray
Spoon into a large baking tray, earthenware or pyrex dish and bake in a medium heat until dark brown on the top. I could have used the orange enamelled pan I mixed it in but I had guests so I used my smart new white enamel tray. If you are looking for a large orange enamelled pan like mine you can get them on Amazon here; https://amzn.to/2NaZwHG. Here are the white enamel trays; https://amzn.to/2Ml9G8Q They are both highly versatile and last for years. Using the fan oven I cook it at 200C for about 40-50 minutes. Timings will vary with different appliances.
I baked and served the mackerel in enamel pie dishes as well; you can get these on Amazon here; https://amzn.to/33Cf90F
I served the baked aubergines with baked mackerel and salad, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.