Saturday 25 August 2012

Sweet potato gratin and burnt aubergine salad from Ottolenghi

All year I miss the sunchine, I crave it, and then when it finally comes, like the weekend that I made Ottolenghi's sweet potato gratin and burnt aubergine salad, I turn into a complete wuss and can hardly move. I have become too accustomed to British weather now clearly. I need a breeze and the odd cloud
We went over to LT's parents house to pick up the car to go to the beach, had a glass of champagne, and that was it really. I ended up looking through his mum's cookbooks for hours. Needless to say the beach plan never crystallized. I went home and cooked this for LT and my mate Rob instead. We ate it in the garden and talked until day turned into night. That's when we realized that we had become prey to the thousands of hungry mosquitoes and transferred our conversation to the pub down the road instead
I changed the recipes from this book up here (slightly) to suit what I had (e.g. I subsitituted whipped cream in the gratin for single cream), so here I give you the versions that I made. I also forgot to put the red onion in the burnt aubergine salad


Sweet potatoes
Single cream
Garlic salt

Peppers - red and orange
Cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Lemon juice

You do not peel the potatoes, which I love, you just slice them and combine with all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl, then bake for about 40 minutes. The aubergines you cook straight on the stove. Actually, I 'd learnt this method from an Indian friend of mine years ago, and it gives a superb chargrilled flavour to any dish. Once the aubergine is cooked, you remove the flesh and combine with the other stuff, which has been chopped into bite-sized pieces. We ate this with grilled chipolata sausages, which were meant to be barbequed, but we never even got round to starting the barbeque. That day was such a wash out, but in a pleasant kind of way in the end. When I was standing on my road in the midday heat earlier, irritated, with mascara running down my face, I didn't think anything could save it, but this meal did just that. It was that wonderful kind of simplicity, where the food is easy to make and comforting to eat - real food

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