The trouble with eating Vegetarian-type food is not that it isn’t very nice, but that it is difficult to find which are the good recipes – also, that it’s difficult to get out of the habit of imagining, totally erroneously, that a meal without meat isn’t a proper meal! So we have decided to dedicate part of the Newsletter to this subject, trying to find some really nice Vegetarian Recipes to publish there. In fact, I have always eaten a certain amount of vegetarian food, through having a number of Vegetarian friends. More recently, when I spent 12 years with my husband on a boat in the Med, we found ourselves eating more still, because nuts, dried beans, lentils, cheese, eggs, etc. are so much easier to store than meat, when one doesn’t have good refrigeration. So I have ended up with a store of recipes, and I thought that I would start off with perhaps the one I like best:-
Turkish Aubergine RoastServes Four Vaguely taken from the BBC TV’s Food and Drink Program of many years ago
Baked Potatoes go well with this dish, and you’ll have the oven on anyway. If you partially cook the potatoes in the Microwave, they won’t take so long in the oven [needed to crisp them up].
2 large Aubergines [about1½ lbs weight, or 6 or 700 grams]2 medium Onions [about the same]
1 chilli pepper or a half teaspoon full chilli-powder
3 or 4 cloves of Garlic
Thyme, Basil, and Green Coriander
1 teaspoon Salt, or more, depending on taste
1 teaspoon Sugar
3 or 4 skinned Tomatoes or a medium tin
Lemon Wedges, and Fresh Basil and Coriander leaves if possible, for the Garnish
Slice the aubergines, sprinkle with salt and leave them in the sink for half an hour. Meanwhile, chop the onions and fry them in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the chilli pepper (whole), squeeze in the garlic, chop the tomatoes and add them, and add the flavourings. Simmer (covered) for half an hour, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, rinse the aubergines, and chop them into cubes. Put a little olive oil in a non-stick frying-pan, and fry the aubergines (covered preferably), tossing them (or stirring) at intervals. It's better to do them in two goes if you do this amount, or you won't be able to stir them properly.
Put a little of the sauce in a large, greased, oven-proof dish, add the aubergines, and cover with the rest of the sauce, making sure that it falls down into the gaps. Sprinkle with pine-nuts, and bake in a moderate oven for half an hour. Serve hot or cold, garnished with lemon-wedges, and sprinkled with fresh Basil and Coriander leaves.