Roast aubergine, tomatoes and mozzarella

 Singin' in the rain

Well after today, if one doesn't sing, one is liable to shoot oneself.  The nonstop downpour from 10 am through until now, almost bedtime, was enough to make the silly ducks and chickens who live in the garden next door gurgle or gargle.  The farmyard noises are a constant, and I try not to think stews and roasts and endless wonderful casseroles when I hear them.  Oh dear, now I've just lost about a dozen of you and any other vegetarians who read this, of course.

Perhaps you will give me a second chance as the meal I made tonight was all veggie, up and down the line, and not a feathered friend in sight, except through the window but I was on to better things by then. 

David often finds good recipes in the Times which he reads online each morning.  He can't send articles by email  from that form but he can photograph with his blackberry and then email me a picture of the recipe.  It works, sort of, to a point.  The quality of the print is fuzzy and the pics all look like swamps with rushes but the ideas are great.  And this one of Lindsey Bareham's (and on the strength of this and several other successes of hers, I've ordered two of her cookbooks) is so simple it's almost embarrassing to add but it's another way of attacking the mighty aubergine and a most attractive dish if done properly.  Not sure my pics will do it justice as I'm not good at multi tasking, but you'll get the general idea and if you like aubergines, then give it a whirl.

For 2 people:

2 medium aubergines
olive oil
6 large, ripe, vine tomatoes
2 garlic cloves (Lindsey says four, but unless you're alone for the weekend, be sensible!)
couple of handfuls of Basil leaves (recipe calls for 50 but life is simply too short)
2 buffalo mozzarella, drained (lump kind, packed in water)

Oven to 200ÂșC/gas mark 6

Line a roasting tin with tin foil, shiny side up.  Halve the aubergines lengthwise.  Cut a diagonal lattice pattern in each cut side about 2 cm wide.  Brush olive oil over the tops.  Roast for 10 - 12 minutes in the oven until the centres begin to soften.

Arrange the halved tomatoes, cut side up, around the aubergines and drizzle with oil and seasoning if desired.  Return tin to oven and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes until the tomatoes are squashy.  Remove from oven, scatter minced garlic cloves over aubergine and flip tomatoes so that they are arranged cut side down on top of aubergine.  Cut thick slices of mozzarella to cover the top and return to oven briefly until the cheese begins to melt.


Tear basil leaves over top before serving.

David prefers a grated hard cheese to the mozzarella which does get a bit 'stodgy' if the slices clump together.  Any cheese would work and goat cheese might be best of all.  Let me know if you have any other good ideas.