It’s early July and some of the produce is ready for picking in the walled garden. The cucumbers which are grown in the melon house are sweet and crunchy, they taste so much better when they’ve been home grown. I really need to get a little more creative and add them to something other than a salad.
Aubergines are also in season at the moment and are delicious when grilled with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of purple basil. This recipe for aubergine gratin with tomato sauce is an ideal BBQ accompaniment or it could be served as a side dish with some steamed white fish. We cooked our aubergine on the BBQ for this recipe, heated it under the grill with the tomato sauce and cheese topping, then served with some grilled pork steaks and a salad.
The recipe serves 2
2-3 aubergines, sliced lengthways
Clove garlic, finely chopped or crushed
Fresh basil leaves
6 large tomatoes, skinned and coarsely chopped (cover tomatoes in a bowl of boiling water for up to 1 minute or until the skins start to split. When cool enough to handle peel off the skins)
100g parmesan, grated
Small slice stale bread (white or brown)
- Start by making the tomato sauce. Heat a glug of olive oil in a medium sized skillet or frying pan on the highest temperature and add the garlic and a handful of torn, fresh basil leaves.
- Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper
- Stir well and then leave to cook on a medium heat until the sauce is thick (approx. 10-15 minutes)
- Meanwhile, add the slice of bread to a food processor to turn into breadcrumbs, then mix the breadcrumbs into the parmesan cheese
- Turn the grill onto the highest heat, cover the sliced aubergine with a glug of olive oil and a tsp of salt and once preheated, place under the grill or on the BBQ for approx. 2-3 minutes each side, or until they have softened slightly and look chargrilled
- Place the grilled aubergine in a roasting tin and pour over the tomato sauce
- Sprinkle the cheese and breadcrumb mixture over the tomatoes and aubergine and grill until the cheese is bubbling (approx. 3-5 minutes on the highest heat)