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Once you get confident with aubergines, you will realise how versatile and delicious they are. When stewed with tomatoes, the combination works as a base for many dishes. They can be partnered with grilled lamb chops, piled on bruschetta or baked with mozzarella on top.
Aubergine and tomato stew
2 large aubergines (eggplants), remove pointy tops and cut into large cubes
100ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400g very ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks (or 1 tin drained tomatoes)
10 fresh basil leaves, torn into big pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
When cooking aubergines, don't be put off by the fact that they soak up a lot of the oil like a sponge; just continue cooking.
Heat a large frypan up to hot and add the aubergine and fry until brown on all sides. Add the garlic and fry for 1 more minute. Add the tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat, then add a generous pinch of salt and pepper and the basil. Let the flavours combine for a few more minutes.
Great hot or cold.
• This recipe is from Alison Lambert, chef at the Otago Farmers Market.