Going grilltastic today with a meal that packs a punch full of flavour and is guaranteed to fill us up after a long day’s renovation work. For me aubergine is one of those veg wonderful when done well, but falling short flavour-wise when not. My tip for adding flavour during construction adds flavour, and they’re great for adding height and colour to a simple meaty meal of kebabs. You can either marinate and skewer some chicken, or many local butchers sell ’em ready made (…..like these here, cajun & peri-peri, cheating as we’d had a very tiring afternoon!).
MINTY AUBERGINE TOWERS (Serves 2)
- 2 small long aubergines: fresh and firm, not wrinkly and old!
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- I pack good mozzarella: drained, sliced & quartered
- Olive oil
- 1 lemon
- A handful of chopped mint
- Balsamic vinegar, or white wine vinegar if you prefer
- Granulated sugar
- Freshly ground salt and black pepper
Mix into a small bowl three tablespoons of oil with the juice of half a lemon, add the chopped mint and 1 table spoon of balsamic. I added half a teaspoon of sugar to my dressing to make it less tart, you could add honey or agave syrup if you like. Taste the dressing, as sometimes this is to personal preference and some people like more of a lemony kick than others. Be sparing with the sugar when you add it, using a finger tip pinch at a time.
Quarter or slice the cherry tomatoes into a bowl and drizzle a couple of teaspoons of the dressing over them. Season and add a pinch of sugar too. Leave to marinate.
Cut the aubergines into rounds as in the image below, of about 1cm thick. This is why it’s better to get small, long ones as you get more rounds. Mine did seven rounds each, after being topped and tailed. Wider, older aubergines give bigger circles which aren’t really towers, more like flat plates 😉
Place the rounds on a foil covered grill and brush with oil on both sides. Grill each side for five minutes until the rounds have softened and cooked through. Press them lightly with your finger to see if they ‘give’ a little as a good test. (Some people used to insist on salting & drying aubergine before it was cooked to remove any bitterness but there’s really no need these days.)
Lightly season the cooked aubergine then top each round with a teaspoon full of the dressing mix and spread evenly. Allow the dressing to soak into and flavour the soft flesh of the aubergine for fifteen minutes or so, the ideal time to grill the kebabs and leave them resting on a plate in the warm oven whilst you finish off the towers.
After 15mins, warm the aubergine rounds for a couple of minutes under the grill. Remove from the grill and layer on some mozzarella, then two or three tomato quarters.
Grill on a high heat for five minutes until the tomatoes start to brown and the cheese melts.
Plate up with the kebabs, drizzle over the rest of the dressing and boom, terrific towers.
M&S ready cooked new potatoes work a treat with this meal, I have to cheat as potatoes can’t be boiled with no hob! I’m also going to try these towers with delicious pre-grilled halloumi, as I reckon it’d give them a fantastic saltiness.
NB For new readers: I live in a kitchenless, hot water-less, hobless house mid-self-build & renovation, hence these simple, hearty recipes and food advice for others in the same boat. This isn’t an expert blog for expert foodies with all the gadgets either, so don’t get all snotty if I use cheating additions and never boil / pan fry anything… because I can’t! x