This dish is like sitting in an outdoor café in Spain, and can make the dullest supermarket produce sing. The quantities given are to serve 2 generously, as that’s what’ll fit comfortably into a standard roasting tin, but you can easily double this up as part of a veggie feast, and even bring the vegetables to the table whole before ‘carving’ and dressing them.
|2||whole aubergines, pricked all over with a fork|
|3||red pointy peppers|
|6||large vine tomatoes|
|1||red onion, quartered|
|a handful of fresh thyme sprigs|
|4||large cloves of garlic, unpeeled|
|1 tbsp||olive oil|
|2 tsp||sea salt|
|1 tbsp||lemon juice|
|1 tbsp||extra virgin olive oil|
|25g||fresh basil, roughly torn or chopped|
|good crusty bread|
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/ gas 6.
2. Tip the whole aubergines, red peppers, vine tomatoes, onion, thyme, garlic, olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt into a large roasting tin, then use your hands to coat everything really well in the oil and salt.
3. Transfer to the oven and roast for 1 hour, chucking the almonds in for the last 10 minutes to toast.
4. Remove the tin from the oven – the veg should be charred all over and very soft when prodded. Rescue the garlic, and leave the rest of the veg to sit while you whisk the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and another teaspoon of sea salt together with the squeezed-out and mashed roasted garlic. Using a knife and fork, remove the inedible tops and stems, then roughly tear the softened vegetables apart.
5. Scatter over the basil and the dressing, then mix really well together. Serve warm, with good crusty bread.