Sometimes the simplest recipe can be a glorious feast. You can tell this is the case, since the recipe’s intro is bigger than the method! I love aubergines and I think roasting them brings out all their flavour and sweetness. Plus they don’t absorb a lot of oil. I gave up frying aubergines a long time ago. I think it’s a waste of time and olive oil.
So, I saw these lovely aubergines at the fruit shop and thought of “imam bayildi”, a lovely Turkish dish of fried and braised aubergines in a rich, garlicky-oily tomato sauce. Well, instead of frying, I roasted them with aromatic spices and lots of garlic. Then I added some gorgeous black olives and canned tomatoes. Lastly, I topped the dish with some crumbled feta cheese and a handful of pistachios. Just before serving I sprinkled a generous amount of fresh, chopped parsley. It was absolutely delicious!
- 4 aubergines, cut in 4 wedges lengthwise
- 12 garlic cloves, unpeeled and slightly bruised with the side of a knife
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds, crushed
- ½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
- 400 can, grated tomatoes
- 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 12 black olives
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled (about 125 grams)
- 3 Tbs pistachios, peeled preferably unsalted
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup chopped parsley to serve
Preheat oven to 175 C. Place aubergines and garlic in a baking pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the spices. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 40-45 minutes until aubergines are cooked and coloured in places.
Add tomatoes to the baking pan. Mix tomatoes with balsamic vinegar, and sugar and add to the pan. Bake for 15 minutes more.
Scatter the crumbled feta cheese and the pistachios on top of the aubergines. Roast 5 minutes longer.
Take pan out of the oven and leave to stand for about 10 minutes. Scatter the parsley on top and serve.