steamed aubergine with chilli dressing

another jamie oliver recipe, this, but slightly bastardised. he uses sugar in the dressing and a lot of sweet chilli sauce, both of which i have omitted. i don't think the salad is any worse for it. if you're eating sugar, you could try adding a teaspoon or so and see how you like the taste.

i've never thought of steaming aubergines, oddly enough. i think that's the main reason i am posting this - i suspect not many other people have either. all the usual cooking methods involve copious amounts of oil whereas this has none. the aubergines end up soft and silky - it's definitely something i'll be doing again.

you could substitute courgettes, i suppose. but don't. this is a lot nicer - and i know 'cos i chucked in a couple of sliced ones later to have for lunch today. courgettes tasted just like...well, courgettes. not very exciting.

for 4 as a side dish

2 large aubergines, sliced in half lengthwise
4tbs soy sauce
3tbs chilli sauce
2tsp sesame oil
juice of a whole lemon and zest of 1/2
4 spring onions, sliced
2 red chillies, sliced (use one if you think two is too hot)
1 large handful or coriander, chopped
1 large handful of mint, chopped
1 large handful of basil, chopped
celery leaves (optional)

put the aubergines in a steamer and steam for 15 or so minutes. they'll be soft when you pierce them. leave them to drain in a colander for a bit, then cut into 2-3cm cubes or whatever size you fancy.

while they are cooking, mix all the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl.

try and add the aubergines to the dressing while they are still warm - this way they really absorb the flavour.

eat at room temperature - best not straight out of the fridge as you won't be able to taste anything.


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