Comfort vegetarian food: aubergine gratin

I’ve been in London since Wednesday evening. Why not? Family and friends are here. Enough has been said about this city, people love it or hate it. I love it, but can understand why some might feel otherwise. I suppose I can’t make any judgments until I get to live here myself. All in good time.

I’m not a vegetarian. This sign in the Borough Market yesterday made me smile:

It is a difficult lifestyle to maintain, especially on a social level. Facing dinner invitations without seeming like the most awkward person in the world, the endless questioning on why you won’t eat food with a face, strange looks in restaurants in the meatier European countries, it must seem a chore sometimes.

On the other hand, I could count on one hand the number of times that I’ve cooked meat for myself at home. Vegetables are so much easier to cook and to freeze. I’m not the best example of cooking for oneself, given that my signature fallback dish is cereal. But I’m trying to behave these days, and according to the wise ones, three proper meals per day is recommended.

This is where aubergine gratin comes in. This recipe is delicious and super fast. It makes enough for two people, but if you are on your lonesome, pop the leftovers into the fridge for the next day. If you are feeling carnivorous, I’m sure a pre-grilled chicken breast or something meaty won’t go amiss, but watch out for the reheating side of things*

Aubergine Gratin

1 large aubergine
50ml olive oil
Salt and pepper
25ml balsamic vinegar
250g buffalo mozzarella
4 large tomatoes, quartered
1 tbsp chopped basil (basil smells unreal so I toss in as much as I like)
20g chopped olives (the recipe says black olives, but I prefer green and it really doesn’t make a difference)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Peel the aubergine, discard the skin and dice into large cubes.
Toss the diced flesh with olive oil and season
Roast in the oven for 10 minutes
Remove from the oven and toss with balsamic vinegar before mixing with the tomatoes, olives, mozzarella and basil
Return to the oven at 200 degrees for another 5 minutes
Serve with a green salad, or whatever you want. I’m not going to be bossy about this. It’s your comfort food, I’m just making a suggestion. Enjoy!


Click here for the original Guardian article.


*Vegetarian bonus: vegetables don’t give you salmonella. That I know of…


One Comment Add yours

  1. martha says:

    aubergine gratin-esque dishes always put me in mind of Tony Sorprano. ‘Eggplant parm, Carmella!’

    anything with buffalo mozz is fine by me.
    Vegetarianism is not socially awkward! I definitely never have an issue with it unless my hosts or dining companions make an issue! but i guess in meaty brussels maybe it’s harder?


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