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Wash and dry the aubergines. Slice one into rounds and set aside, place the other aubergines whole under a hot grill, and allow to ‘roast’ until they appear to burn and blacken on the outside and are soft and tender inside when pierced with a knife (approximately 20 minutes). If you have a gas hob you can try 'roasting' them over a naked flame to give a really strong smoked flavour. Leave aside to cool.
Lay the slices of aubergine on a grill tray, brush with olive oil and season. Grill until golden and cooked through – about 6 to 8 minutes should do. Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook on a medium heat until soft. Peel the aubergine and add the flesh to the pan and continue cooking together for a couple of minutes. Add the lemon juice and season to taste. Set aside.
To make the dressing, mix all the dry ingredients together and then add the oil and lime juice, season and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse together.
To assemble, place a pastry cutter in the centre of a plate to use as a mould, and line the bottom with the slices of grilled aubergine then top with the smoked mixture. Continue with alternate layers until you have filled the mould finishing off with a round of the sliced grilled aubergine.Remove the mould and top with a handful of leaves. Spoon the dressing around and serve at room temperature with grilled flatbread.
To serve this as a pate, puree the ingredients (minus the sliced, stack of aubergine), place in a ramekin and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve with toast
For a dip, puree the ingredients (minus the sliced, stack of aubergine), serve warm with corn chips and pitta bread.
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