Friday, 8 April 2011

Fragrant Aubergine Salad

It’s Friday and the weather is fine which makes me a very happy girlie indeed. The sunshine is meant to last all through the weekend here, which makes sitting in an office all week worthwhile. The first wafts of barbeque smoke have already been rising so I’m certain that there’ll be lots of people partaking in a little al fresco grilling over the weekend.

I’ve been enjoying a delicious and uncomplicated salad this week which my family used to make from Ainsley Harriot’s Meals in Minutes cookbook. It’s ideal for a barbeque or picnic as it’s seriously easy to make (have it roasting away while you slap your sausages on the Barbie) and is great hot or cold. Any leftovers are pretty amazing the next day too; I’ve added them to a tasty and super speedy salad of spinach and roasted peppers for my work lunchbox this week.

Tasty Leftovers

While we’re on the subject of aubergine, you’ll notice that my recipe doesn’t include a stage for salting as you may have seen elsewhere. The Boy and I actually did an experiment a while back as we were thoroughly confused about whether you should or shouldn’t salt (namely because the recipes tell you to but I don’t recall my parents ever doing so without any detrimental effects). We sliced up an aubergine, salted half before cooking and fried the other half without. There was honestly no difference between the two except that the salted aubergine was, well, more salty. I haven’t bothered salting aubergine before cooking since then and generally miss out the step if it appears in recipes.

Aubergine Salad

Simple and Fragrant Roast Aubergine Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish

2 aubergines
Tight handful of mint leaves, chopped
Tight handful of coriander, chopped
Juice of half a lime (or lemon)
1 shallot, finely chopped
Sunflower oil for roasting

- Preheat the oven to 190C.
- Prepare the aubergines by slicing off the top and chopping the flesh into 2 – 3cm cubes then toss in 1 tbsp of oil.
- Spread out on a tray (I used a silicon sheet underneath to prevent it from sticking) and roast for 20 – 25 minutes turning every so often until the flesh starts to go golden brown around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly for a few minutes then sprinkle with juice, shallot and herbs. Stir thoroughly to combine.

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