This is another 0ne of those aubergine dishes that you have to try even if you think you don’t like aubergine. We are coming to the end of the season here now so it maybe your last chance to change your life. Or your eating habits anyway..
This is dish from Delia Smith (we love Delia) and she got it from an Elizabeth David recipe. It is supposed to be served at room temperature, drizzled with olive oil and served with some warmed pita breads on the side, a blob of greek yoghurt and fresh herbs on the top.
You can definitely serve it like that it is delicious. It is perfect as part of a mezze, for a buffet or to take on a picnic. The thing is that in Delia’s picture the blob of Greek yoghurt on the top looks a lot like a poached egg, and I also had Pease Pudding’s beautiful Baba Ghanoush & Poached Egg in my head. So I had to try it didn’t I?
Poached eggs are one of those things that strike fear into the hearts of many. Good cook or beginner we’ve all had a nightmare or are just too scared to even try. There are a million different theories of the best way to poach an egg, it can get confusing.
The Washer Up, who makes the best poached eggs, boils the water first then turns it off and slides the egg into the water ( from a bowl or ramekin). He then puts on the lid and leaves it for about 3 -4 minutes.
Smitten Kitchen has an excellent tutorial with step by step instructions and pictures that are definitely worth looking at if you are unsure.
Tunisian Aubergine with a Soft Poached Egg
Serves 3-4 vegetarian/vegan. Adapted from Delia Smith
- about 800 gr aubergine, chopped into 1 cm cubes
- about 1 tbsp salt
- about 800 gr ripe tomatoes (or 2 400 ml tins if you are feeling lazy)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp allspice berries
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- a handful of fresh coriander, chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- a handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- salt & black pepper
- To serve: chopped fresh herbs, smoked paprika, warm bread, olive oil, Greek yoghurt
- or 1 egg per person.
- white vinegar
Start making the aubergine the day before or in the morning if possible to give the flavours time to develop. Place the cubed aubergine in a large colander, sprinkling each layer with salt then cover with a plate and weigh it down with 2 or 3 full tins/cans to squeeze the liquid out of the aubergine. Put the colander on plate and leave to drain for an hour.
After half an hour preheat the oven to 230 C. Meanwhile skin the tomatoes by putting them in a large bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Leave for one minute then drain them and slip them out of their skins. Cut them in half and place, cut side up on a lined baking tray. Brush the tomatoes with a little olive oil and set aside.
Toast the cumin seeds and allspice berries in a dry pan until fragrant and popping. Tip into a pestle and mortar and crush to a powder.
When the aubergines are ready squeeze out any more juices and dry them with a clean tea towel. Place them in a bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil and toss to coat. Spread them out on another lined baking sheet and put both baking sheets in the preheated oven. The aubergines on the top shelf and the tomatoes on the next one down.
Cook for about 25 minutes until the aubergine is golden brown and the tomatoes soft. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions until soft and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic & chilli and cook for another minute. Add in the chopped tomatoes, aubergines and crushed spices, mix well, stir in the fresh herbs and season with salt & black pepper. Bring to a simmer and pile into serving dish. Cover and leave in the fridge for 24 hours or more if possible.
To serve either:
Remove from the fridge half an hour before you want to serve it so that it comes back to room temperature. Drizzle with olive oil, and top with a blob of Greek yoghurt, the fresh herbs and sprinkle over a little paprika. Serve with warmed bread.
Heat the aubergine slowly, over a low heat while you cook the poached eggs. Half fill a saucepan with water andd a squirt of white vinegar and bring it to the boil. Meanwhile crack your eggs into (separate) teacups or ramekins. When the water is boiling, turn it off and stir the water with quickly with a spoon to create a whirlpool. Slide the egg carefully into the centre of the whirlpool, put the lid on and leave for 3-4 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon to a piece of kitchen paper to drain and snip off any scruffy edges with kitchen scissors. Cook the rest of the eggs the same way. To reheat the eggs put them into the hot water for 1 minute.
Serve the warm aubergine topped with the poached egg, sprinkled with paprika and chopped fresh herbs.
Split the egg with a knife and let the soft, silky yolk run into the hot, spicy aubergine, Hopefully….
Things That Made Me Smile Today………….