We’re back on the aubergines again but this time they’re Irish aubergines which are a more precious commodity. Tonight’s dinner was made with one big purple aubergine from Galway and one long Chinese aubergine from our tunnel in Timoleague. Our aubergine harvest was a bit of a disaster . They obviously didn’t enjoy our summer. I grew several varieties which I planted in the tunnel and funnily enough the Chinese aubergines did the best.
Anyways, I made a pilaf with the aubergines and a jar of ‘flood affected ‘ passata. We still have several bottles of passata which lost their labels when they sat in our flooded shop this summer. The only thing that’s wrong with them is the lack of label so we are slowly munching our way through them. They worked perfectly in the pilaf. I cooked some onions and cinnamon in a little butter then added ground allspice and some passata before adding the rice and fried aubergines.
We ate it with some yoghurt and mint sauce on the side
Here’s the recipe
2 onions – peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic – peeled and chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp ground allspice
350mls tomato passata
300g basmati rice
400 ml vegetable stock
olive oil to fry the aubergines
a handful of chopped coriander or parsley
DIce the aubergines into 2cm cubes and sprinkle with some salt. Leave them aside to sweat.
Measure the rice and put into a bowl and cover with warm water,
Melt the butter in a big sauce pan and add the chopped onions and cinnamon stick. Cook on a high heat until they are sizzling then turn the heat to medium and cook gently until the onions melt down.This will take about ten minutes
Add the chopped garlic and chilli flakes, cook for another couple of minutes then stir in the passata and ground allspice. Bring everything to the boil then turn the heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes.
Drain the rice and rinse under a cold tap. Shake off any excess water and add to the pot together with the vegetable stock. Season with a little salt, bring everything to the boil then cover with a lid and turn to the lowest simmer. Cook for twelve minutes then take off the heat and leave aside to relax. (leave the lid on – no peeping)
Put a frying pan on the heat and squeeze the aubergines, handful by handful, to get rid of the excess moisture. add a little olive oil to the frying pan and fry the aubergines until they are golden. This will probably have to be done in batches, don’t overcrowd the pan. When all the aubergines are cooked tip them into the pilaf , add a handful of chopped coriander or parsley and gently mix through.
To make the yoghurt/mint accompaniment finely chop a clove of garlic, add it to about 200mls Greek yoghurt and whisk in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in a handful of chopped mint and serve the sauce on the side of the pilaf.
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