Friday, 28 June 2013

It's all about being spicy

That's right and you know it! Spice not only helps appease our hunger but it also gets those endorphins buzzing and whizzing and tingling all over your body. And boy do I need some tingling and whizzing. The weather has turned foggy and misty (in other words, nasty), I'm feeling pretty blue and missing summertime. This recipe is adapted from the fabuloso Yotam Ottelenghi and his book Plenty. Having grown up on mediterranean/middle eastern food I'm a fan of his most of the time. A lot of the time I find his recipes have so many blinking ingredients that I give up reading what I need before even trying. Yep, that's the type of person I am. Don't judge.

So taking that in mind and having a bunch of aubergines, egg plants to those stateside, a magical creation was formed! One that had the bosses tell me they want it repeated a lot! Brownie points for Jette *happy face*.

One thing you need and can make is the genius that is THE chilli oil creation that is: whacking some dried chillies/chillies going off/chillies looking wrinkly in the blender with some oil. This keeps in the fridge for Yages. Literally yages. Yes, that word is Yages.

Cut into the flesh to make diamonds trying not to cut through the skin. Stick a garlic clove in as many 'x' as you want. I used roughly 3 clove per half an aubergine the first time and then my peeps asked for more.

At only 28 calories cooked per 100g, this is one veggie to keep around. The latin name is Solanum melongena which means 'soothing mad apple' due to it's reputation back in the day of producing 'instant insanity in the unwary eater'. Genius.

Now it's time to whack on that chilli oil. Slather on a good amount as the aubergine is a sucker for oil. Literally. If you like it really spicy make sure you get lots of the flakes in. The longer the oil as has been sitting the spicier it gets!

While we're are on the subject, let's talk chillies for a moment. Now, we all know there are a ton of varieties and every country worth their chilli metal wants to be the one that introduced the world to the chilli. They are a massive source of antibacterial, antiseptic and stimuli properties (did you read the first paragraph about the whizzing and tingling?) Things that chillies are said to help with are: normalising blood pressure, improving circulatory system, feeding cell structures. They contain Vit A+B+C but, they come with a highly addictive warning. You've been warned.

As part of the nightshade family which is a poison you should be afraid. Afraid of how much goodness this veg has. People use it for helping tumours, preventing cancer, the bioflavonoids it contains are great for renewing arteries, preventing strokes and other haemorrhages. It's a pretty powerful thing. Give it a go. Try and put it into your diet at least once a week when in season. The thing I love most about aubergine this way? The crispy bits around the edge with a spicy tang fading to soft flavourful flesh. Nom nom.

half an aubergine per person
chilli oil
garlic cloves
2tsps greek yoghurt
buttermilk/goats milk/milk
chilli flakes/lemon/coriander

Cut aubergines in half and score the flesh. Peel the garlic cloves and stick into the 'x' of your cuts. Brush with chilli oil. Put into an oven 200C for about 20-30mins. When they are ready they will be squidgy to the touch and a knife will go in no problem. The bigger the aubergine the longer time in the oven.
Mix 2tbsp of greek yoghurt with enough buttermilk/goats milk/milk to turn  into sauce consistancy. Add some more chilli flakes/squeeze of lemon/chopped fresh coriander or all of theses. Drizzle a little over the middle and serve warm.

P.S. If you make too many halves or have left overs. Remove flesh from skin, blitz with a little oil and you have a fabulously yummy dip. You're welcome.


  1. This is such a fancy dish. I really like the idea.

  2. Ooooh, this looks nice! I've never really tried aubergines - what does the texture/taste compare to?

    - Nin xx

  3. Thanks Nin, this is a tough one. It's quite soft almost like a sweet potato when cooked but not stringy! Make any sense? Do have a go. It's yummy!

  4. this looks great. definitely going to give it a try...