Very simple and to me, (a lover of aubergines), a truly sublime nibble.
- 1 large aubergine
- 1 ½ tablespoons best-quality butter,softened
- 6 slices of your favourite bread
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 2 ripe tomatoes, cut in half
- Finely chopped fresh herbs, such as dill, basil, coriander (optional)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- You need to blacken and cook the aubergine until it collapses. The best result comes from doing this over the smouldering coals of a barbecue, but you can also do it over an open flame if you have a gas cooker: set the aubergine directly over a medium flame and keep turning it with your tongs every 5 minutes—it should take about 20 minutes. Makes for a messy cooker but gives great flavour.
- When the aubergine is charred on the outside and really soft inside, set it aside in a shallow bowl until it is just cool enough to handle. Pour off the liquid that will have come out of the aubergine, then use your fingers to peel off the skin – don’t worry if some of it doesn’t come off, it will only add to the flavor. Mash the peeled flesh with a fork. While it is still warm, whisk in the butter with the fork and add some salt and pepper, to taste.
- With a sharp knife put a cross through the bottom skin of the 2 tomatoes then put into a heat resistant bowl and pour boiling water over them until they are covered. After 5 minutes pour away the water and peel the skin off the tomatoes. Chop finely, add the crushed garlic and finely chopped herbs. Season to taste.
- Toast your slices of bread then put some of the tomato mixture on and spoon the aubergine butter on top. Enjoy!
- If there is any aubergine butter leftover, it will keep for up to a week in the fridge.
Based on a recipe in Summer Kitchens by Olia Hercules (Ukranian Cookery book)