Foodie Friday – Aubergine Parmiagana

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In my blog I hope to share many aspects of my new life here in Barbados, ranging from books to food to travels and exploring the island. Food is a big part of my life and is a source of great enjoyment for me, and my partner who gets to enjoy the spoils! However, nobody wants to see what we’re having for dinner each day, so I’ve decided to go with a Foodie Friday post once a week, highlighting what has been my favourite meal of the week. I’ll share the recipe and the method along with photos and comments. I hope that you find this format interesting and entertaining, and maybe try some of the recipes I post. Also feel free to share any recipes of your own that you feel I should try. I’m always looking for something new and exciting to cook. Here goes, week one, Aubergine Parmigiana.

Aubergine Parmiagana – serves 2 generous main course portions, preparation 20 minutes (including roasting the vegetables), cooking time 30 minutes

I love this dish. It is something that I’ve cooked many times over the years, but have never formalised the recipe which until right now remains in my head! It’s a great accompaniment to meat and fish, but since I’ve dropped meat and poultry from my diet I now tend to make it more as a main dish, or with some bread or fresh fish. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 glove garlic, finely minced or crushed
  • 1 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can cold water (fill the empty tomato can)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 10 medium button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp mixed, dried herbs
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 medium aubergine, thinly sliced in to circles
  • 1 medium courgette, thinly sliced in to circles
  • spray oil
  • 150g grated mature cheddar or other hard cheese
  • 100g grated parmesan
  • salt & pepper

Method:

Firstly I like to roast my aubergine and courgette for added flavour. Preheat the oven to 200c or 390f. Place the sliced aubergine and courgette on a baking tray that has been sprayed with oil. Lightly spray the veggies with oil and put in to the oven for 10 mins. Turn over and cook for a further 5 mins. Remove from the oven.

Whilst the veggies are cooking, prepare the tomato sauce. Add the olive oil to a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic on a medium heat until transparent (about 5 mins). Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 mins. Add the can of chopped tomatoes, half a can of cold water and the tomato paste and simmer until heated through. Add the vegetable stock cube and herbs and simmer for a further 5 mins. Mix the cornflour with cold water (I mix it in the empty tomato can, half filled with water) and slowly add to the tomato sauce. Cook out for 5 mins. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and that’s the sauce done. Take it off the heat and move to one side.

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Now it’s time to construct the dish. Put a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish (it stops the veggies sticking and burning when in the oven). Put a single layer of aubergine in to the dish, followed by all the courgette. Cover with half the remaining tomato sauce. Put another layer of aubergine (use the remaining aubergine) and cover with the remainder of tomato sauce. Sprinkle on the grated hard cheese and put in the oven for 25 mins (I also added a little left over Gorgonzola – still Italian and tasty). Remove and add the grated parmesan and put back in the over for a final 5 mins. You should be able to see it bubbling throughout the whole dish (I like to use a clear pyrex dish for that very reason). Remove from the oven and voila!

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We didn’t enjoy that one bit! LOL

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