This post has been waiting for me to write it for a while. I made this dish probably about ten days ago, but it’s been the end of the summer holidays and we have been making the most of our time with the girls.
This was the harvest from our polytunnel:
We were very excited as this is the first time we have had success with growing aubergines. Mr OC planted a mixed seed collection and these beauties were the result. We kept them in the house on the windowsills until the fruit appeared and then transferred them into the polytunnel and this, I think, has been the secret of our success. The ones planted directly into the polytunnel have produced flowers but no fruit, which was our experience last year. Our tomatoes have been brilliant this year, supplying a constant stream of ripe fruit and our basil is beautifully scented. I think this particular harvest is from a supermarket plant that I had pretty much used up in the house and so put it in the greenhouse and it has survived and gone from strength to strength.
I wanted to do something which made the most of both the aubergines and the tomatoes. Sometimes, the aubergine gets a bit lost when baked with a tomato sauce when I do an aubergine lasagne thingy. That is OK (and really quite delicious) when the aubergines are from the grocers, but when you have looked at them growing every day for a few months you really want them to be the centrepiece. I do minted aubergines quite a lot, but the mint is over and cut back in the garden now. Michele at Cooking at Home posted a wonderful and very inspiring pomodoro crudo the other week and so this seemed perfect to adapt a little for an aubergine and tomato salad.
So the tomatoes were diced and thrown into a bowl with some crumbled feta, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil and the basil and left to marinate whilst I got on with roasting the aubergines.
I sliced the aubergines, sprinkled them with olive oil and seasoned generously with salt and pepper.
I then roasted them in the baking oven of my Aga, which is the equivalent of 180°c (gas mark 4) for about 20 minutes until soft and golden.
I placed the aubergines on the serving platter and placed the tomatoes and the lovely juices all over.
It’s best to leave it to stand for five minutes or so for the juices to be absorbed into the aubergine and then serve with lots of bread to mop up the juices.
This was a dish which definitely made the best of our polytunnel harvest.