I absolutely love aubergines. When I see that deep purple almost black colour of the skin, it makes me so happy. It’s strange because I know that aubergines weren’t used a lot back home in Denmark, however, I clearly remember my mum buying them (occasionally) and we must have eaten them as well… I have no recollection of eating them in Denmark!
Since I arrived in the UK Aubergines are still one of the vegetables that I love to cook with. I have tried many different recipes. Aubergines aren’t technically a vegetable but a fruit from the same category as the tomato! Luckily the husband also enjoys aubergines, for Baby Blip, the jury is still out on Aubergines.
Baby “Flipper” is almost 10 months and is still only happy having breast milk (mummy is getting very tired). However, he has lately at least started to put some food in his mouth… a bit of pizza today! HURRAH!!!!! Hopefully, by the time he is 18 he will be happy eating normal food… He was happy to squeeze and play with the Aubergine bake I made today… however, none of it touched his lips. But hey, one day!
I have tried purees and all the tricks under the sun, however, he is stubborn like his mummy and know what he wants.
The dish I made today is really simple, this year I am growing thyme and oregano outside so using fresh herbs. however, you could just substitute it for dried herbs instead.
I added frozen spinach to the dish which was lovely. However, next time I would love to try and layer it with potatoes, this would help give the dish a bit of texture. I often buy Aubergines from my local market, they normally do two for a pound. However, they are widely available from super markets as well. This dish is meat free, however, you could add some bacon to it or even some sausage meat between the layers. I like to make my own bread crumbs with the ends of bread. It’s cheap and easy.
I served the dish with garlic bread.
This recipe serves 4 people, I made it in foil trays, so we could freeze one portion.
2 medium aubergines
2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
½ large leek – white part (optional)
2 clove garlic finely chopped
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
100g cream cheese
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp thyme
75g fresh spinach
3 tbsp bread crumbs
3 tbsp grated mature cheddar
Salt and pepper
- Cut the aubergines into 1 cm long slices, lengthwise. Lay them in one layer on a baking tray (or a grill pan) and lightly brush with oil and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Now cook them until slightly browned, then turn them over and season again and cook until tender.
- Meanwhile, clean and chop up the leek finely.
- Put the remaining oil in a pan and on medium heat add the garlic, leek and onion and cook until translucent.
- Pour in the chopped tomato, the thyme and oregano and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, the consistency should be rather thick.
- Assemble the dish by, adding half the aubergines to the bottom of an oven proof dish, then spread the cream cheese on top of it. Then add a layer of tomato sauce (1/3 of the tomato sauce) a layer of spinach and top with the remaining aubergines. Now add the remaining tomato sauce on top and finish off with the breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
- Cook at 200C in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
Serve with garlic bread and salad
Tin Tomatoes 30p
Cream cheese 55p
1 tbsp oregano 5p
1 tbsp thyme 5p
Bread Crumbs 20p
Cheddar (£2.50/500g)x100g = 50p
Salt and pepper 2p
Total amount = £3.79
Per portion = 95p