Great at soaking up flavours, aubergine (also known as eggplant) works well in stews, salads and curries. Although it’s technically a fruit – a berry, to be exact, the aubergine is used as a vegetable.
This colourful vegan aubergine stack recipe will brighten your day, the tasty caper berries add a crunchy texture and along with the olives creates a wonderful Mediterranean flavour.
Ingredients – Serves 4
- 2 large aubergines -sliced lengthways thinly
- 1 thinly diced red onion
- 2 courgettes thinly diced
- 2 tablespoons of chopped black olives
- 1 tablespoon of caper berries
- 2 tablespoons of pine nuts
- 1 fennel bulb
- 125g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 garlic bulbs
- 1tablespoon of tomato purée
- 10 fresh basil leaves large, plus extra for garnish
- Teaspoon of sugar
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- Place the aubergine strips in a tray sprinkle with sea salt -leave for 10 minutes.
- In a hot frying pan add olive oil, then add half the chopped onion, garlic, fennel, courgette and cook for 10 minutes, stirring – reduce the heat, add the pine nuts, caper berries and 8 of your basil leaves – simmer for 10 minutes – taste and season accordingly.
- In a saucepan caramelise the remaining red onion, add the chopped tomato with the sugar, sea salt and pepper, plus two basil leaves and the tomato puree – simmer for 10 minutes and strain which makes the sauce lovely and shiny.
- Brush 4 ramekins with olive oil line each with the aubergine strips – make sure they overlap -now fill with the vegetable mix, press down firmly – cover with the overlapped aubergine -drizzle with oil, then seal over the top of each ramekin with tin foil. You are going to cook these in a water bath.
- Take an oven tray, place the covered ramekins in it. Add hot water to just come up to the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake for 20 minutes on 180*C
- Carefully remove from the oven, take ramekins from tray, remove the foil using oven gloves or tea towel – rest for 2 minutes
- Turn each ramekin onto a large plate and coax out the aubergine parcels – circle each with tomato sauce – dress with basil leaves.
Almost as important as the taste of the food, making it look nice will make your taste buds happy before you even begin. Swoosh the tomato sauce with the back of a spoon to make your dish look really cheffy – add basil leaves as a garnish.
Watch the video to see how to make an aubergine stack
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