Aubergine antipasti

This is one of my most requested recipes. I think the aubergine with tomato, garlic and lots of extra virgin olive oil is a perfect flavour combination. So delicious with a bit of fresh bread or toasted ciabatta. It takes a while but it’s worth it!

Ingredients:
  • 2 large aubergines, sliced into fingers (skin on)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed
  • 100ml of extra virgin olive oil – seems like a lot but this is what makes this soooo tasty!
  • 4 – 6 ripe med-large tomatoes, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • A tablespoon of tomato purée
  • A small teaspoon of sugar
  • 200ml water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A handful of fresh chopped basil and/or oregano
Method:
  1. Cut the aubergines into small fingers, about 1cm by 1cm and about 5cm long. I don’t bother with the whole idea of leaving the aubergines to sweat in salt, this recipe takes long enough as it is because everything needs to be done in batches
  2. Then fry the aubergines fingers in a little of the olive oil with salt and pepper until they are nice and soft and slightly browned, this is the bit that takes time because you need to do it in batches for the fingers to brown slightly
  3. In the meantime, chop the de-seeded tomatoes into small pieces
  4. When all the aubergines fingers are soft and brown, place them aside
  5. Put the rest of the oil into the pan, with the garlic and fry gently, be careful not to burn the garlic, you want it to soften very gently
  6. As soon as the garlic looks like it’s taking colour, add the chopped tomato, tomato paste, sugar and water. Stir and let this reduce into a wet paste
  7. Add the aubergine fingers and stir through. Add the fresh herbs and stir through. Turn off the heat and allow the aubergines to rest in the paste before putting in serving dishes.

Best served at room temperature.

Can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and if you’d like to keep it for longer, pop some in a jam jar and seal the top with some extra virgin olive oil. If the oil covers all of the veg this can keep for a good few weeks in the fridge. Once you open, it’ll keep for 3 days.

If you can’t stand the thought of de-seeding and chopping tomatoes, use a can of chopped tomatoes. I would suggest very quickly blitzing with a hand blender so that you don’t have big chunks of tomato in the paste. I’ve not used passata with this recipe but I suppose it would also do the job as long as you still use the tomato paste and water and allow to reduce because this intensifies the flavour.

This can also be used as an emergency pasta sauce (just add a bit of the water you used to boil the pasta to make it a bit wetter). Or add as a topping for a pizza with some mozzarella cheese.

Enjoy!

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