One of my Christmas presents in 2016 was Nigel Slater’s 30-Minute Cook book. A handy volume for the single man, for sure. As I flicked through it for the first time, the pages flopped open at the above picture of some psychedelic aubergines. At least, that’s what they looked like to me; a bubble projection from an Andy Warhol acid happening in 1967. Made of aubergines.
And I reckon Nigel must have been tripping* when he inserted this picture, because there’s no caption to tell us which recipe it actually is. I really wanted to make the psychedelic aubergines, but eventually had to settle on a random aubergine dish: hot aubergine and cheese sandwiches (non psychedelic). They’d just have to do.
*Nigel Slater in no way endorses the use of psychoactive pharmaceuticals.
Non-psychedelic aubergines: Ingredients
A fat garlic clove
Some grated parmesan
A handful of basil leaves
Some cocktail sticks (or similar pointy items)
Slice the aubergine lengthwise into about six strips 1cm thick.
Blanch them for 2 minutes in boiling water, then dry with kitchen towel.
Crush the garlic and smear it on half of the slices, then add the basil and the grated cheeses.
Put the remaining slices on top as lids and pin together with cocktail sticks.
Sprinkle with flour and fry in olive oil for 4 mins on each side.
Don’t forget to remove the cocktail sticks before you eat them, unless you were planning to get your tongue and tonsils skewered together anyway. Actually, the cocktail sticks aren’t really necessary in my opinion, as the cheese glues it all together.
My aubergines were a little under blanched, but that’s obviously not Nigel’s fault. Maybe I sliced them too thick. They also weren’t as hallucinogenic as I’d hoped. For this, I blame Nigel one hundred percent. Still… highly recommended if you fancy something veggie friendly but a bit different.
My local wine shop guy was impressively unfazed by my request for a bottle to pair with non-psychedelic aubergines. He’s such a pro. I came away with a Falanghina, which I’ll post a review of soon.