We all have a veg we’re not a fan of but the rest of the family likes. I hate Brussel sprouts, our son isn’t a fan of asparagus and mushroom, and our daughter finds celery particularly weird. Aubergine is what my husband would be happy to avoid. I have made the Moroccan Lamb Stew that he likes but as we like to grow the veg I need to come up with more recipes to use up the harvest.
When we were in Little Italy our daughter ordered a starter that layered aubergine, tomato, prosciutto, and basil. She loved it so this was the inspiration for dinner. I wanted to use the strong flavours of sun dried tomatoes and garlic for this dish. I wanted it to pop! I also used chicken thighs as it is a less expensive cut of meat to use.
For this dish I used a little more than half a pound/10 oz of chicken. Cut the chicken into small cubes and finely chop 3-5 cloves of garlic. Slice a large handful of sun dried tomatoes while heating up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Toss in the three ingredients and sauté on medium low to pull the flavours of the garlic and sun dried tomatoes into the oil.
Once the chicken is halfway cooked add the aubergine. We grew small Italian finger aubergine which get to about 5in/12.5cm long. For this dish I used four of the veg, sliced.
Cook for a few minutes then add a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Because we ran out of our chicken stock (gasp!) I used veg bouillon instead. It worked really well with the strong flavours. Use about a cup/8oz of the bouillon and simmer to reduce slightly. For once we did really well growing basil this year. Let’s face it, gardening can be a bit of a crapshoot. But I tossed in a handful of the fresh basil. Once the dish is nearly finished cooking add a handful of chopped prosciutto. You don’t want this ingredient cooking too long as it can get tough and overpowering.
While all this was going on I oven roasted potatoes that I sliced about a 1/4 in/.625cm thick, drizzled with olive oil and sea salt. Lay out the potatoes and top with the aubergine dish. Grate fontina cheese over the dish and garnish with fresh basil.
Our daughter said it wasn’t exactly like the dish she had, which was fine as I wasn’t reproducing it, but that she loved it. My husband’s response? “Congratulations on making aubergine edible!” 😄. I do love cooking for my family.