Source: Nigel Slater’s recipes for braised aubergines
Braised Aubergines with Preserved Lemon and Basil
Servings 4 people
- 2 aubergines 1kg
- 125 ml olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 450 g courgettes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 dried chilli
- 125 g tomatoes
- 1 preserved lemon
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 12 black olives
- 10 g basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. If the aubergines are large, slice them in half lengthways, then into short thick pieces. If they are slimmer, then slice into discs about 2cm thick.
Warm the oil in a deep pan, add as many of the aubergine pieces as it will comfortably hold, then let them cook, partially covered with a lid, until lightly coloured. Turn them from time to time. Lift them out and cook the remaining aubergines, adding a little more oil if necessary. Peel and slice the garlic cloves.
Thickly slice the courgettes. If you are lucky enough to find those barely larger than a finger, then slice them once, in half lengthways, only. As you remove the second batch of aubergines, fry the courgettes for a few minutes until pale gold (they will soften further in the oven).
Return the aubergine pieces to the pan, then add the bay leaves, dried chilli and tomatoes. Cut the preserved lemon into tiny pieces and stir into the aubergines and continue cooking for 5 minutes, then season with salt and ground black pepper.
Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then slide into the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes until all is soft and juicy. Ten minutes or so before they are due to be ready, scatter in the olives. Scatter the torn basil leaves over the top and serve.