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IN SEASON 'So do I salt..?'


Traditionally, cooking aubergines was associated with an arduous and lengthy cooking process. When the aubergine was fi rst introduced to the British Isles, its fl avour was bitter and overpowering, and it was the ‘pre-salting’ process that was used to draw out its unpleasantries. As varieties have mellowed in fl avour and become more commonplace in our British kitchens, this process is now redundant, and aubergine can be simply and eff ortlessly added to all dishes. Having said this, gently pre- cooking or salting your aubergine will help to tighten its spongy texture – this will help to avoid over-absorption of any unwanted moisture and oil.


GRILLED AUBERGINE, FETA, OLIVE & MINT SALAD


Serve this salad at room temperature to enjoy the fl avours at their best.


Serves 8 6 tbsp pine nuts


2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste


5 tbsp balsamic vinegar


150–200ml extra virgin olive oil


3 aubergines, sliced lengthways 5mm thick


160g feta, crumbled


Large handful of black olives, pitted and halved Handful of basil leaves Handful of mint leaves Salt and black pepper


1 Lightly toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan, tossing them frequently, until golden. Make a dressing by whisking


the crushed garlic with the vinegar and olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.


2 Heat a cast-iron griddle pan until very hot. Brush the aubergines with some of the dressing (just enough to coat on both sides) and grill them in batches until they are soft to their centres and have nice grill marks, about 3–4 mins on each side.


3 Assemble the salad by layering the aubergine with the pine nuts, feta and olives and drizzling the remaining dressing over as you go. Finish by tearing or fi nely slicing the basil and mint leaves and scattering them over the top.


www.riverford.co.uk/recipes


30 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER


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