Nigel Slater’s recipe for aubergine with pine nuts and parsley

Nigel Slater’s recipe for aubergine with pine nuts and parsley

The recipe
Cut 2 medium-sized aubergines in half from stalk to tip, then cut each in 2, again lengthwise. Cut each piece into short lengths, about 3cm long. Put the pieces in a colander, sprinkle them generously with salt and leave them for half an hour.

Chop a small bunch of parsley. You need enough to give you about 4 tbsp of finely chopped leaves. Finely grate the zest of a lemon and mix with the parsley.

Wipe the aubergines with a paper towel. Warm 6 tbsp of olive oil in a wide, shallow pan, add the aubergines and let them cook for a good 7-10 minutes or until they are lightly browned, turning them as necessary with kitchen tongs. Pour 100ml of water into the pan and cover with a lid.

When the aubergines are nicely browned and totally soft, remove them from the pan with a draining spoon. Finely slice 2 cloves of garlic and add them to the pan, letting the garlic cook for a minute or two until pale gold. Add 2 tbsp of pine nuts to the pan and when they turn golden brown, remove them from the pan and set aside.

Pour a little more oil into the pan, add 2 large handfuls of soft, white breadcrumbs and let them cook for 3 or 4 minutes, tossing regularly, then add them to the parsley, pinenuts and lemon.

Return the aubergines to the pan for a few minutes until hot, tossing them with the crumbs, herbs and nuts, then serve. Enough for 2

The trick
It is not entirely necessary to salt the aubergines, but doing so will result in them being more tender and soaking up less oil. You need to be watchful when you add the crumbs to the pan, moving them around to avoid them burning.

The twist
You can eat this as it is, but I like to make a sauce for it with 100ml of natural yogurt, 2 tbsp of olive oil and a handful of either mint or coriander leaves.