Aubergine Sabich with Pickled kale, Charred Tomatoes and Crispy Aubergine

This recipe for Aubergine Sabich, from one of London's most popular restaurants, Le Bab, makes a great vegetarian kebab full of interesting flavours and textures.

The Modern Kebab
From the book The Modern Kebab
By
Buy on Amazon / Hive / Waterstones

Introduction

Late summer vegetables shine through here. It balances the richness of the aubergine and toum with the acidity and piquancy of tomatoes and pickled kale.
 

Ingredients

For the pickled kale:
500ml white wine vinegar
50g sugar
1 tsp salt
200g kale leaves, tough stems removed
1 fresh red chilli
For the charred tomatoes:
2 large vine tomatoes
sumac
olive oil
For the crispy aubergine:
2 aubergines
plain flour
oil, for frying
For the Le Bab Toum:
1 egg white
1 garlic clove, finely grated
500ml vegetable oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar

Essential kit

You will need: a food processor or an electric whisk.

Instructions

1. To make the pickled kale, place the white wine vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. The salt and sugar will dissolve. Immediately pour the liquid over the kale leaves and chilli in a sterilised kilner jar. Once cool, it is ready to use (this will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge).

2. Toast the almonds in the oven at 170°C/325°F/Gas mark 3 for 10 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and crush.

3. For the charred tomatoes, slice the tomatoes into quarters and discard the seeds. Slice these quarters into segments about 1 cm thick. Season with salt and sumac before drizzling with oil. Using a blow torch or by placing under a hot grill in the oven, grill the tomatoes, turning once, until charred and blistered.

4. For the Le Bab toum, in a food processor or with an electric whisk, beat together the egg whites and finely grated garlic clove. One fully combined, slowly trickle in the vegetable oil whilst still whisking (or with the food processor on, if you are using that). Make sure that the vegetable oil is mixing in. If the toum gets too thick (which it will) add a dash of water to loosen it before adding the rest of the oil. When all the oil and a few splashes of water have been added, add the vinegar to stabalise the emulsion. Season. Keep in the fridge and use within 3 days.

4. For the crispy aubergine, cut the aubergines into 3 cm cubes and put them in a bowl. Sprinkle over some salt and leave for 10 minutes until some water is released from the aubergines. Pat the cubes dry, dust with plain flour and shake off any excess. Deep or shallow fry the aubergines at 160°C for about 3 minutes or until they are golden. Remove from the oil onto some paper towels to drain (there is no need to season since they have already been salted).

5. On a flatbread (get the recipe here), lay some of the just-fried aubergine chunks and top with toum. Scatter with the charred tomatoes and pickled kale, then top with crushed and roasted almonds.

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