Friday, 11 September 2009

A simple aubergine lunch

For the first time this summer, I've grown aubergine plants (the baby variety) and have looked after them like a woman possessed, hoping for a great crop of one of my favourite vegetables. They've spent five months sitting on either the kitchen windowsill or in front of our French windows, both of which face due south, benefitting from what little sun we've seen in this part of the world. Imagine my excitement when an aubergine actually started to form and was then followed by not one, but two more. I thought I'd got this aubergine-growing thing cracked but three aubergines was where it stopped and today I picked my huge yield and devoured the lot for lunch.

First I sliced them in half and baked them in the oven with olive oil which left them juicy, soft and plump. In a small pan, I sautéed some finely sliced garlic with a little chopped green chilli and spring onions. This mixture was then sprinkled over the aubergine halves with some freshly squeezed lime juice and a small handful of oregano, freshly picked from the garden. The resulting dish was absolutely delicious as the aubergines were so full of flavour. I didn't have a glass of wine with lunch today as I was on my own and nothing was open. If I had partaken of a glass, however, I would have gone for an Italian Fiano (white) or perhaps an Albariño from Spain. If you wanted to add a bit more depth to the dish, some crumbled feta would be great with it and then I would go for something really cleansing to offset the saltiness of the cheese - a dry Riesling from South Australia or a Sauvignon Blanc would work well.

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