I have had a very complicated relationship with aubergines in my life. When I was tiny, I used to push it off my plate and now I surreptitiously give myself bigger portions as I simply cannot get enough!
I can’t get enough of the smokiness, the heartiness, the substantial bite, the lightness and depth of flavour. The whole eating experience transports me to sunny days looking out over olive groves, almond trees, spring blossoms and lunchtimes where the conversation is as moreish as the food! (writing that, I have to say, please try my Baba Ghanoush!) So as soon as spring comes around I start buying large aubergines and I get griddling!
Aubergines are such a good food to eat as it is so healthy. Filled with antioxidants, beta-carotene, magnesium and fibre this vegetable has some great nutrients which your body will thank you for, helping your digestion and balancing of blood sugars. This recipe is especially good as you eat the skin which is where all the goodness is concentrated.
The tip with getting a good griddle on your aubergines, making sure they are grilled and not boiled or steamed in their own juice is all in how you prepare your aubergines. You need to extract the liquid, which I have outlined in step 1 below.
2 large purple aubergines
2 tbsp pink Himalayan salt
Small handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp pine kernels
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
1. slice the aubergines lengthways and slather with the salt, place in a sieve covered with a small plate and pressed down with cans over a large bowl for 30 minutes. The salt will draw out the moisture and the weight will push it out of the sieve into the bowl below.
2. meanwhile, place the pine kernels in a dry frying pan on a low heat and toss occasionally for about six minutes until brown
3. mix the tahini and olive oil together and add half of the chopped parsley
4. after half an hour, use your hands to strain and drain the remaining liquid out of the aubergines, brushing off any excess salt as you go. Heat a cast iron griddle pan or flat iron pan and place the aubergines on top, turning every few minutes until both sides are a golden brown.
5. When all the aubergines are cooked, layer onto a serving dish and sprinkle with the pine kernels, remaining parsley and drizzle over as much tahini sauce as you like.