Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Em Eats: Aubergine and tomato bake

Recently while i was in town buying christmas presents for family and friends i stumbled upon a cookery store which i often venture past but never seem to go in, so i decided that i'd step inside and along with purchasing a christmas present for a relative who loves cooking i found this Great Veg cook book. For me the cover got me engaged with it wanting to read though, i honestly stood in the middle of the store reading the recipes for at least five or ten minutes. As i find i can never have enough cook books naturally i brought it. Being vegetarian while everyone else at home eating meat i find myself cooking for either myself most nights if not i'm cooking for me and my mum, when cooking for two i tend to branch out to my cook books so tonight i reached out for the newest addition to the family Great Veg, at first i was unsure of what to cook from it first then i spotted this. Honestly the photo was the main reason i cooked it plus i love aubergine so it was a winner. 

Serves 4/ Prep time: 15 minutes/Cook time: about 35 minutes.

1 TBSP Olive oil
1 large onion, finely crushed
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
150g quinoa
1 TBSP tomato puree
a large handful of fresh basil, chopped
2 medium aubergines, cut into medium chunks
50g parmesan, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Step one Heat half of the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and fry the onion gently for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic for the last 2 minutes.
Step two Add the tomatoes, quinoa, tomato puree and 300ml (1/4 pint) just boiled water and simmer for 20 minutes or until the quinoa is tender. Stir most of the basil through and check the seasoning.
Step three Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a separate pan and fry the aubergines for 15 minutes or until softened - add a splash of water if the pan looks dry.
Step four Preheat the grill to medium. Empty the quinoa mixture into a 2 litre ovenproof dish. Top with the aubergines, then sprinkle the parmesan over. Grill for 3-5 minutes until piping hot and golden. Garnish with the remaining basil and serve immediately.

The dish was easy to make and the steps were easy to follow, i found that it didn't take 15 minutes to prep everything. Before i began cooking i only prepped the ingredients of the first two steps as while that mixture was simmering i prepped the aubergine and cheese rather than waiting around. I halved the recipe as i was making it to serve two, also instead of using parmesan i used a mild cheddar as when i was getting everything out i realised i'd forgotten to pick up parmesan but it worked just the same. Again on hand i only had dry basil on hand so interpreting the recipe i sprinkled it in during step two just the same as with the fresh basil but before placing it in the oven i sprinkled a pinch over to add a hint more flavour, my mum and i both found the herb taste was defiantly there so i'd recommend dry basil if you don't have fresh as it works just as well.

My presentation of meals never goes great but that doesn't matter as long as the food is good! To tell the truth this dish was honestly incredible, i loved a variety of textures within it was a perfect mix and the taste was insane, you could taste basically all of the ingredients which i loved about it as having meals where one ingredient overpowers the rest doesn't appeal to me, though the tomatoes have a powerful taste in this dish it doesn't dominate plus with the texture and hint of quinoa underneath, wow seriously yum! Personally i think this dish is perfect for winter, warming you up after a long day out in the cold and fills you up. I will be sure to make this dish again in the future! 

Whats your favourite winter dish?

Thanks for popping by

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