When using whole vegetables, it’s key to bring them to life with seasoning or sauces, and this aïoli really complements the succulent star of the show.

SERVES 2 as a side

FOR THE AUBERGINE AND GREENS

1 large aubergine, or 2 small ones

4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

a pinch of chilli flakes

1-2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

5-6 stems of your chosen greens (eg, kale, chard, spring greens)

1 lemon, juice and zest

a handful of crushed nuts (I love pistachios)

FOR THE AIOLI 

120g cashews, soaked overnight in cold water (or for 4 hours in boiling water)

approx 100ml water (or more to loosen)

3 cloves of garlic

2 tsp dijon mustard

½ tsp apple cider vinegar

½ – 1 lemon, juiced, plus a

dash of zest

a pinch of salt

  • Preheat the oven to 220C/ 200C fan/gas 7. To make the aïoli, put the cashews in a blender with the 100ml water, garlic, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and zest plus a good pinch of salt and blend to a smooth creamy texture. Taste and adjust the seasonings and liquid if necessary. It should be thick but pourable. Place in a jar or airtight container and pop into the fridge while you make the rest of the dish.
  • Pierce your aubergine all over (to prevent it exploding while cooking) then place on a baking tray and roast on the middle shelf for about 10 minutes, then remove.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, paprika, cumin, chilli flakes, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Where you pierced the aubergine, very slightly and carefully pull the incisions apart. Pour some marinade into each hole then roast the aubergine for a further 20 minutes. You will notice it start to shrivel slightly and ooze some juice – this is good.
  • To cook the greens, either steam or lightly boil in salted water. Once they’re a vibrant green, remove and blanch under cold water to stop the cooking process. If you want your greens hot, don’t run them under water for too long.
  • Place them in a bowl with the lemon juice, zest and a good grind of salt and pepper then cover to keep warm.
  • Remove the aubergine from the oven. You can serve it whole or sliced lengthways down the middle. Serve with the greens, a dollop of aïoli, a sprinkle of crushed nuts and a drizzle of olive oil to bring it even more to life.

 

 

Source: | This article originally belongs to Daily Mail

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