roast aubergine with Asian dressing

Lindsey Bareham

In the unlikely event that I gave up meat and fish, aubergine would be high on my list of fall-back ingredients. It is so versatile and loves so many seasonings. Here it’s roasted, peeled, chopped and dressed with a Thai-style vinaigrette made from lemon and chilli, salty nam pla and masses of coriander and mint. Try it on its own or piled over garlicky toast. If I wasn’t honouring National Vegetarian Week, I’d suggest serving it alongside chicken kebabs.

serves 4, prep 20 min, cook 25 min

4 medium aubergine
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp groundnut oil
1 small red chilli
2 garlic cloves
½ tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
4 tbsp chopped coriander
about 20 small mint leaves

Heat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Trim then quarter the aubergines lengthways. Arrange cut-side up in a roasting tin and roast for 20 min until the flesh is scorched and soft. Leave to cool.

Whisk together the lemon juice and groundnut oil. Trim and finely chop the chilli, discarding the seeds. Peel and finely chop the garlic, sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and crush to a paste. Add the chilli, garlic and half the fish sauce to the lemon juice and oil, and stir. Taste and add the remaining fish sauce if insufficiently salty. Stir in the coriander.

Run a knife under the aubergine skin to remove. Chop the flesh into bite-size pieces. Pile onto a platter and spoon over the dressing. Scatter the mint over the top.