My dad was away for the weekend so I decided to go up to my parents house and cook my mum dinner. I usually head up on a Sunday evening for a family dinner, but since I'm heading away tomorrow it suited me better to head up on Saturday and also didn't want to leave mum on her own on a Saturday night.
Mum doesn't eat meat, she does eat fish, but I decided to make something vegetarian for us. After looking through a few of my recipe books I settled on this Aubergine Bake. I LOVE aubergines, so it really was an easy choice. The recipe is from the Hairy Dieters but I was missing a few ingredients so I improvised a little bit. It's great as a main dish served with a side salad but would be equally good in smaller portions as a side with a steak or chicken.
Serves 4 as a main or 8 as a side
Smartpoints per Serving: 4sp as a main, 2sp as a side (same on No Count)
Propoints per Serving: 4pp as a main, 2pp as a side (same on both propoints & F&H plans)
4 large aubergines
1 packet fresh basil
2 balls light mozzerella
1 tbsp pesto
20g grated parmesan
500g jar passata
1 onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp sugar
Salt & Pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan oven. Slice your aubergine into 1cm rounds, sprinkle with salt and leave for 15 minutes on some paper tower to extract the bitter juices. Using more paper towel, dry off the salt & juices from the auberine, spray with oil and roast in the oven on a non stick oven tray for 40-45 minutes turning once (you may need to do this in batches).
While the aubergine is cooking, make your sauce. Fry the onions gently in some spray oil until translucent and soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Sprinkle in the cinnamon, sugar & oregano and cook for a further minute before adding the passata. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Season to taste.
To assemble, put a little sauce in the bottom of an oven dish. Drop a little of the pesto over the sauce. Place a layer of aubergine and then top with torn basil. Repeat the layers until you run out of aubergine, ending with a layer of tomato sauce & pesto. Top with the grated parmesan and the sliced mozzerella.
Cook in the over for 25-30 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden and the aubergine is soft through. Once removed from the oven you want to leave sit for 10 minutes so the layers hold together when serving. This goes really well with a side salad topped with some good quality balsamic vinegar. It was absolutely delicious and will be making this again for sure.