Roasting aubergines over a flame is one of my favourite ways to eat this vegetable. The flesh becomes meltingly smooth and the smoky flavour from the burnt skins is a great extra dimension.
It takes a little time but it’s very simple to do. It’s one of these dishes where you can read a newspaper or book whilst occasionally turning the aubergines. I have an old cake rack which I put directly on top of the gas burner. I’m not sure how this would work out on an electric cooker but I think it should do the job so long as the cooker isn’t super sensitive and the cake rack doesn’t knock the power off.
The aubergines do shrink whilst cooking so you need two or three large aubergines. Put the aubergines directly on the rack over a very low flame and turn every few minutes. I put mine in a row, then stand them on their ends to cook the bottoms. They are ready when the aubergines begin to collapse. Take them off the heat and allow them to cool then cut them in half lengthwise.
Use a spoon to scrape out the flesh then throw away the charred skins.
Peel a couple of cloves of garlic and give them a rough chop then put them together with the aubergine flesh and chop everything together until it becomes a puree. Tip the aubergine into a bowl, squeeze over the juice of a lemon, stir in a couple of spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil then season with some salt.
I like to serve this with sour cream and roasted peppers and a little fresh coriander or flat leaf parsley to garnish. The roasted piquillo peppers that you can buy in jars are ideal for this,
It’s great dish to share. Put the plate in the middle of the table and eat with pitta breads or crusty bread. I found a lovely plate that someone had bought to our house at a previous occasion yesterday to put the aubergine on and it looked lovely. We took the dish to the neighbours birthday party and one of the other guests promptly claimed the plate back!!