Rich Aubergine with Tomato and Basil
This savoury treat combines two of my favourite vegetables, aubergines and tomatoes. The smaller long, thin Chinese aubergines are preferable to the thicker European variety because of their slightly sweeter and milder taste. However, you may use the European type. Leave the skins of the aubergines on as they enhance the texture of the dish.
|450g (1lb)||Chinese aubergines or ordinary aubergines, trimmed|
|225g (8oz)||fresh or tinned tomatoes|
|75ml (3fl oz)||extra virgin olive oil|
|5||garlic cloves, peeled and crushed|
|3 tbsp||finely chopped basil leaves|
|1 tbsp||lemon juice|
|Salt and pepper|
Cut the aubergines into diagonal slices around 1cm (½in) thick.
If you are using fresh tomatoes, bring a large pan of water to the boil and then plunge them in and cook for a few seconds, removing them with a slotted spoon. Then peel, de-seed and cut them into 2.5cm (1in) chunks. If you are using tinned tomatoes, chop them into small chunks.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil and, when it is moderately hot, add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds then add the aubergine slices, 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoons of pepper and continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and sugar to the aubergine and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook slowly for 15 minutes until the aubergine is quite tender. Stir in the basil leaves and lemon juice and give the mixture several good stirs. Transfer to a warm platter and serve at once or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.