Saturday, 12 March 2016

Wednesday 9th March: Nigel Slater's Aubergine 'Cassoulet'

I had bought the ingredients especially for this recipe from Nigel Slater's beautiful book Kitchen Diaries III (the recipe can also be found online here). I'd been wanting to cook a few more recipes from this book, because it's wonderful and I'd also been fancying some aubergine, so this seemed like an appropriate recipe. Aubergines are one one of my favourite vegetables, but I hadn't eaten any for a while because I largely try to eat seasonally when it comes to veg.

Unfortunately I didn't have as much time to cook this dish as I'd anticipated because the trains were messed up and I got home from work rather later than I'd planned to. And I was starving by the time I got home. So, I largely followed the recipe but took a few shortcuts to make it quicker. No doubt it would benefit from longer cooking time but it was still tasty and satisfied my aubergine craving and my hunger.

I adapted the recipe a bit to make about enough for 2 people and I chopped the aubergine up a bit smaller than the recipe suggests so that it would cook quicker. I also fried the onion etc at the same time as the aubergine. I used borlotti beans rather than haricot beans, as that's what I had in the cupboard (they worked rather well, I thought). I don't have a food processor, so I chopped some stale sourdough bread up with a knife for the topping (it was perhaps a little chunkier than I intended, but never mind...). And, finally, I baked it for about 15-20 minutes in the oven rather than 25-30.

In future I would prefer to cook it for longer, but I still very much enjoyed the end result. The combination of aubergine and fresh tomato is a winner, and even my meat-loving husband approved.

Please note my ancient Pyrex casserole dish, which has been handed down to me by my mother. Still going strong!

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