Recipes in an era of high food prices

Food has always been important for me. Very early on I went vegetarian and against my best interests it was an essential criterion for any girlfriend. Intimate eating with a meat eater suits me not at all.

I learned to cook by my first landlord, Patrick. Even though I only lived with him for three months, he taught me the basics of vegetarian cooking.

I have a number of staples that I will share in the future, but I am always on the look out for new dishes, especially those that seem counter-intuitive with respect ingredients. Yesterday, I cooked one of those dishes with surprisingly good results. I extracted it from the Guardian life and style section. It is the creation of Angela Hartnett (actually, her head chef, Diego) who is chef patron at Murano restaurant in London. The dish is called aubergine gratin. The counter-intuitive bit is cooking with balsamico vinegar. But it works.

Serves 2


1 large aubergine; 50ml olive oil; salt and pepper; 25ml good-quality balsamic vinegar; 250g buffalo mozzarella; 4 large tomatoes, halved; 1 tbsp chopped basil; 20g chopped black olives

Peel the aubergine, discard the skin and dice into large cubes.

Toss the diced flesh with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Roast in an oven preheated to 200C for 10 minutes (I gave it 15 minutes).

Remove from the oven and toss with the balsamic vinegar before mixing with the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella and basil. Check the seasoning to taste, and return to the oven at 200C for another 5 minutes (for me it needed a bit more time, another 10 minutes, even).

1 comment so far

  1. sybaritica on

    Nice composition…

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