I’m not normally one to be publically mushy, but here it is.
Almost one short year ago, I had quite honestly the best date of my life. All I did that evening with Charlotte was laugh and laugh until my face hurt! I have continued to laugh with her since, and have no plans to stop.
That fateful night we also spontaneously enjoyed a selection of tapas and a friendly serving of wine. What better way to celebrate a happy year, this Thursday, than with the same such delights!
At Charlotte’s suggestion, we will be preparing a number of tapas to share, but one had to be prepared a little early. Grilled Marinated Aubergines! A delicious snack and something I’ve always wanted to try my hand to. What a great excuse!
I’ve left it just a little later than I had intended- but then time really has shot by me this year. But, with two days to go I’d say I’m right in the nick of time! Here’s what I used…
- 1 Aubergine
- 6 teaspoons of dried oregano
- A big pinch of salt
- A few sprankles of crushed black pepper, plus about a teaspoon more
- A sprinkle of chilli flakes
- A sprinkle of Garlic Powder
- A sprinkle of Onion Salt
- 1 Fresh Red Chilli
- Half a bulb of Garlic
- Sprig of Thyme
- About 500ml of Olive Oil
What a Difference a Day Makes
(but particularly to a marinade)
1. Slice your aubergine into disks, about 3 millimetres in thickness.
2. Take a large useable surface such as a chopping board, or a baking sheet, or even your kitchen counter top if it’s clean and you don’t mind getting it mucky. Drizzle it with a little Olive Oil and sprinkle with Oregano, Onion Salt, Chilli Flakes, Garlic Powder and Black Pepper.
3. Now lay your aubergine disks on top of that mess of spices and do the same on top- Olive Oil, Oregano, Onion Salt, Chilli Flakes, Garlic Power and Black Pepper.
4. Now, I used a griddle pan, but you may well be using a grill or barbeque or something. All are fine options, just these instructions are for using the pan.
SO, get your griddle pan good and hot- and I mean hot hot hot.
Once it is hot (and not just hot, but hot hot hot) lay your spiced aubergine disks inside. They can not overlap, so don’t overcrowd the pan, just do it portion by portion if necessary.
5. Cook the aubergines for two minutes on one side. Then flip, and cook for about two minutes on the other side, until both sides have beautiful char marks.
6. Lay your aubergines out on a plate to cool. Repeat the above steps until all your aubergine disks are beautifully grilled and on the plate.
7. Now for the marinade! In a small jar (roughly 0.5 litres) put about 4 teaspoons of dried oregano, a spring of thyme, hefty pinch of salt and about a teaspoon of crack black pepper.
8. Now peel your garlic cloves and slice each one up the middle. Add to the jar.
9. Next, the chilli. Slice this up the middle and remove all the seeds. Now finely dice it. Add to the jar.
10. Now take all your beautiful aubergine disks, which should have cooled, and add to the jar. They should stack and flop over each other nicely.
11. At last, the oil. Now, I’ve used Olive Oil here for one simple reason- so I have the option of cooking the aubergines again, if I so wish, without spoiling them in the process. Otherwise, I would have used EXTRA VIRGIN Olive Oil, which gives a particularly nice flavour (which is why you often see it used as a salad dressing) and for that reason makes for a superior pickling marinade. Unfortunately, it also had a very low burning temperature.
So, if you want the aubergines as a cold or cool snack that you will continue to enjoy at that temperature, then I suggest you go for extra virgin in your marinade. If, like me, you want to have the cooking option for your aubergines after they’ve sat and soaked in deliciousness, then go for regular Olive Oil.
Olive Oil will still be nice for your cold snack, but Extra Virgin will always be that little bit nicer.
Anyway. Oil. Pour your Olive Oil into the jar right to the top and seal.
12. Job done! Leave for about 48 hours (or longer, as long as you like!) for a good soak, turning the jar or even gently stirring the contents every half a day or so, to ensure everything is well spread and evenly coated.
And, eventually, scoff.
I hope they taste as good as they look, but in either case I’ve no fear of having anything other than another evening of laughing and laughing.