01/11/2015

Melitzanasalata and last minute mash.

You know that thing where you’re out shopping, and you get all excited and inspired by ingredients, buy them, bring them home, then…forget them?

Well, I always do that with aubergines, and tinned beans.

Beans are great, I eat them a lot, so long as I don’t put the tins away in the cupboard. *rolls eyes*

I love eating aubergines. But I always seem to forget about them once I’ve bought them, or mealtimes just end up being something that doesn’t go with aubergine and a few days later I find what essentially looks like  a large prune, sitting in the corner of the kitchen asking for a dignified and quick end.

Oops. I’m sorry aubergines. It honestly isn’t you. It’s me. I promise.

In a conscious effort to stop the same thing happening yet again, and to avoid being dubbed the nightshade killer, I viciously stuck my one aubergine onto a gas flame.

It wobbled around a bit, and refused to sit still.

Remembering that I had a gas diffuser in the cupboard (it’s easier to balance the Moka coffee pot on) I saw no reason not to use that as a roasting platform. The aubergine was a lot more comfortable, and I popped on some cloves of garlic and a shallot too, just for the hell of it.

I scorched them for about half an hour, so that all sides of the aubergine had some smokey skin, then roasted everything in the oven for a bit too, as the aubergine was being shockingly badly behaved and refusing to soften, but I showed it who was boss.

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Once the aubergine had cooled down enough to handle, I scraped all of the soft flesh out into a bowl, and mashed it together with the soft pulp of the garlic and the shallot.

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I had to add in some olive oil to thin the aubergine out a bit, then popped in a tablespoon of tahini, a squeeze of runny honey to balance the bitter hint of the tahini, and then a squeeze of lemon.

Perfect. Not at all pretty, but very tasty indeed. It became one side to go with a goose fat roast chicken a la Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries III.

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The other side was where the tinned beans got their outing. Everyone else was having mashed potato, and I wanted some form of mash to go with the chicken juices, but not potato.

Borlotti beans it was.

1 400g tin borlotti beans

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tbs almond butter*

1/4 tsp smoked garlic granules (use garlic salt if you cannot get the smoked one)

Drain the beans, then put them into a bowl and smoosh them with your hands. It’s way easier than using a potato masher, and you don’t want a smooth puree.

Once it’s mostly smooth, but with some bits of beans, get the excess of your hands – yep, sticky! – and them stir in the oil, almond butter and garlic salt.

That’s it!

I did the goose fat chicken, and it was lovely. Stayed nice and moist (ha, yes, I said moist) though the skin didn’t turn as golden as it does with butter.

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Again with the not pretty, but oh my goodness this mash is gorgeous. It would be fabulous as a layer in a sandwich, maybe with roast peppers.

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*I make my own as it’s cheaper (roasted almonds with the skins on, whizzed in the food processor for about 10 minutes, with added olive oil to make a paste.) but you can buy it ready done.

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