Aubergines with olive oil, garlic, parsley & feta cheese
Aubergines with olive oil, garlic, parsley & feta cheese. The magical moments of the dish are both its quiet simplicity, and the elemental fact, for once, of allowing the aubergine to taste exactly of itself. It further goes without saying that the oil should be very good indeed.The very best aubergines for this dish are the long, pale purple ones, most often found in Asian stores. Their skins are nice and thin, resulting in a more thrifty discard, once peeled. The favor is also very good, and don’t be put off by any seeds; they certainly don’t detract from the finished dish by any means. Also, it is well worth noting that when adding garlic and parsley to this kind of dish, the end result is doubly aromatic if you finely chop the two together. In French cookery, this is known as “persillade.”
Servings 4 people
- 4 long, thin-skinned purple aubergines
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- handful parsley leaves, finely chopped
- little sea salt and black pepper
- 3-5 oz feta cheese
- 5–6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- lemon for serving
- Heat an overhead grill to medium hot.
- Run a small, sharp knife round the neck of each aubergine, about a quarter inch below the stalk and only just cutting through the skin.
- Then make 4 evenly spaced, shallow cuts along the length of the aubergine right down to the bulbous end. Grill them, turning every 5–7 minutes or so, until evenly cooked and the aubergine feels soft but not too collapsed within. In the case of the purple aubergines, their skins will also have turned a dull brown color.
- Transfer to a large, oval white plate and allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Now, using a small knife, deftly lift o틱 the skin in 4 long, narrow sheets and discard (this peeling a틱air is an extremely pleasurable task). Without cutting right through the stalk end, cut the aubergine in half lengthways and gently pry apart until you have 2 horizontal halves, but remaining attached at the top end; a kind of elongated heart shape, if you like.
- . Mix the garlic and parsley with the olive oil and spoon over the assembly. Season lightly with salt (the cheese is salty anyway) and pepper, crumble feta cheese over the top and squeeze over some lemon juice. If necessary, trickle over more olive oil to nish. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
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