In the Kitchen: Aubergine Bake

What’s this? A recipe post?

Yes, it’s been a while.

In my defense, not that I need a defense as it’s my blog so I can write what I want. But anyway it’s been hot and warm, and cooking has been the last think on my mind. I’ve been all about the salads and sandwiches and stir fries instead of slaving over a hot stove. But then a couple of weeks ago I had cravings for my Dad’s aubergine parmigiana. His aubergine bake is one of my favourite meals and I suddenly decided that I NEEDED to eat it ASAP. This also coincided with a friend visiting. So I quickly decided to hunt for an aubergine bake recipe and pair that with homemade breaded chicken. These two plus a fresh salad make for a simple and easy evening meal with old friends.

What you need: 2 large aubergines / 2 garlic cloves / 2 tins of chopped tomatoes / 2 tbsp tomato puree / torn basil leaves / 100g grated parmesan

What to do:

For the sauce: Heat some oil in a pan and then fry the crushed garlic cloves. After a couple of minutes add in the chopped tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes. Then add the tomato puree and turn to a low heat and let the sauce simmer for a little longer.

For the aubergines: Slice the aubergine into strips – I made mine quite thick as I was cooking them in the George Foreman grill, so they needed to be at least half an inch thick to reach both sides of the pan. Brush both sides of the aubergine with oil and then cook them in the griddle pan (or George Foreman). You want them to be cooked through with those fabulously dark griddle marks on them. I found this took about 5 minutes in the GF grill, so it would be twice as long if you were using a pan.

Now compile the bake: Spread tomato over the bottom of the dish and then place a layer the aubergines along the bottom. Next add sauce, some torn basil leaves and a sprinkle of cheese and then repeat starting with the aubergine. Once you’ve done your last layer of aubergine top with the remaining sauce and the sprinkle with the cheese.

I like to leave the bake to rest for a couple of hours, ideally 24 hours – if you can wait that long! And then bake in a preheated over at 200C for about 25 minutes – or until the top is bubbling and the cheese is looking all goey and golden. 

As my Dad doesn’t have a recipe written down (and because I still haven’t picked his brain for his recipe) I went online and found this aubergine bake recipe instead. So this one formed the base for my own yummy version. BBC GoodFood has all the best recipes.

-Laura xx