Food. Travel. Recipes.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Aubergine Parmigiana (Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights) with lemon basil chicken

So it's been a while since I've posted but I'm planning to get much more into cooking, recipes and blogging. I'm currently trying to make (time permitting) one or two dinners a week at home and any lunches or cake making that I do can be thrown into the mix too, hopefully generating one or two posts a week.

I made this Aubergine Parmigiana last week and thought I'd blog about it today! This is from Sophie Dahl's book, Miss Dahl's Voluptous Delights, which I've mentioned numerous times on here, mainly for the fail-proof banana bread recipe and the lovely French onion soup.
I first tried this on my own when my parents were away, and felt exceedingly content having made this for the first time and enjoying it and feeling proud! This is the third time I've made it now and it is definitely a good wholesome dish. There is quite a bit of preparation but oven cooking time is relatively short (20 minutes) So shouldn't cause too much hassle for a weekday evening.

Since I've made this a few times, I didn't reference the book so much and just used whatever measures I thought were right, so the recipe isn't going to be word for word what's from the book, more like a mix of two wordings. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredient List
3 medium aubergines
Sea salt
Olive oil

1 onion, sliced
2/3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar
Salt and Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar
50g of fresh basil
3 large balls of mozzerella
A good grating of parmesan, I'd say around 150g-200g

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Slice the aubergines lengthways into medium slices (around 1cm)
Lay out onto an oven tray (you may need two for all of the aubergines!) and sprinkle with sea salt. This draws out the bitter liquid from the aubergines. Leave for 20 minutes.

After sprinkling the aubergines with salt, start on the sweet tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic, gently sweat them and stir.

Do not overheat the pan and try to keep on a low heat. Add the chopped tomatoes and brown sugar, season and stir, stick the lid on and leave to simmer for around 20 minutes.

Whilst this is simmering, drizzle some olive oil over the aubergine slices and pop them in the oven for 15 minutes.
During this time, I usually slice the mozzarella balls, grate the parmesan and chop up the basil.

Now comes the time for layering up the ingredients! Take the aubergines out of the oven and take the tomato sauce off of the heat.
Grease a large baking dish with some olive oil. Arrange a layer of aubergine slices at the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with some basil.

Add some mozzerella slices.

Then pour over some of the tomato sauce and then a generous sprinkling of parmesan.
Keep going until all of the ingredients are used up.

After finishing all of the layers, top the dish with more parmesan and basil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

I served this with lemon basil chicken, which my sister kindly marinated and sorted out for me whilst I was preparing the parmigiana.

Lemon and basil marinade

Olive oil.
Bay leaf.
2 garlic cloves, chopped.
Basil leaves, chopped.
Zest and juice of 1 lemon.

Arrange the chicken on an oven tray and drizzle the marinade over the top. Keep in the fridge with foil over the top for a while before making the parmigiana, a few hours if you can. Then about 15 minutes before popping in the parmigiana, put the chicken in the oven as it takes 30-40 minutes, depending on the type of chicken breast.

I have to apologise for not including a picture of the parmigiana as a whole when it came out of the oven. I think I may have been a tad too eager! Although here is the meal served up altogether.

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