Updated: Aug 3
by Michel Roux Jr from The French Revolution: 140 Classic Recipes made Fresh & Simple (Seven Dials / Orion Publishing)
A sauce made of red, yellow & green peppers keeps this baked aubergine dish really juicy & tasty but still light, as you only need a small amount of oil. Great on its own or served with a spoonful of pistou (see recipe below).
2 medium aubergines
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red peppers, cut in half
1 yellow pepper, cut in half
1 green pepper, cut in half
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp thyme leaves
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan180C/Gas 6.
Cut the aubergines in half, lengthways, then score the flesh about 1cm deep in a cross-cross pattern.
Cut the garlic into thick slices & push these into the cuts in the aubergine halves. Brush the cut sides of the aubergine with a little of the oil
Heat a pan on the hob. Season the aubergines well & place them cut-side down in the hot pan. Once the flesh is golden, turn the aubergines & place them cut-side up in an ovenproof dish. Put them in the oven & bake for 30mins.
Put the peppers, skin-side up, under a hot grill until blackened & charred. Leave them to cool, then peel off the skins & cut the flesh into strips about 5mm thick.
Discard the seeds & any white membrane.
Heat the remaining oil in a pan & fry the strips of pepper, then add the fennel seeds, thyme & lemon juice. Season & spread the mixture over the aubergines. Serve hot or warm.
Pistou (Basil Sauce)
This wonderfully fragrant sauce is similar to Ligurian pesto but without any cheese or pine nuts. It’s usually used to flavour soups & salads but also makes a nice dip to serve with crudités. I know it’s harder work but it is best to make this with a pestle & mortar if you can. If you do use a food processor, don’t blitz the sauce until smooth – leave a little texture.
Makes about 200ml
200g basil leaves
1 tbsp course sea salt
4 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
1 tsp ground black pepper or chilli powder
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon (optional)
160ml extra virgin olive oil
Place the basil leaves, salt & garlic in a mortar & crush them until coarse. Stir in the pepper or chilli powder, lemon zest & olive oil.
If making this in a food processor, mix until combined but not too smooth.
Spoon the pistou into a bowl, cover & store in the fridge. This keeps well for about 2 weeks.