aubergine chips

Lindsey Bareham

This surprising way of preparing aubergine was the star of a recent mezze meal in Spain. Crisp and golden chunky chips were piled like a neat log pile. Back home I dipped mine in a quickly made tempura batter rather than egg and breadcrumbs, so biting through a thin, crisp batter onto buttery, creamy aubergine. Serve them on their own with a pinch of salt and squeeze of lemon, or with any dip you care to choose from pesto to Greek yoghurt laced with crushed garlic, olive oil and lemon. Also good with a fresh tomato sauce.

serves 2, prep 30 min, cook 15 min

1 large, firm aubergine, 300g
2 tbsp salt
For the batter
100g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
225ml cold sparkling water oil for frying

Trim the aubergine and use a small sharp knife to remove the skin. Cut into chunky chip size pieces and immerse in a bowl of cold water slaked with 2 tablespoons of salt. Leave for 20 min. Rinse and pat dry with kitchen paper. Just before you are ready to cook, make the tempura batter. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, beat in the water. Heat 8cm depth of oil in a fryer or deep-sided pan.

Have several folds of kitchen paper ready. Heat the oil until hot enough to turn a scrap of bread golden brown in 30 seconds. Turn the pieces through the batter and drop in the hot oil, using tongs to turn, cooking for a minute or so until puffy and golden. Cook the chips in several batches, to avoid lowering the oil temperature. Rest on kitchen paper and continue.