A lovely day


Shockingly blue skies and warm spring sunshine greeted us yesterday. People advanced outside, warily, slowly, in case it was a trick…..

……and then hit the shops en masse for bread rolls, burgers, sausages, and barbecue firelighters. I was due to visit my sister for our usual Saturday night dose of dodgy tv (current favourites, Dr Who, The Voice, Casualty and Bluestone 42), and so ensued a complex dance via-text-message that if YOU get the veggie burgers from the bottom shelf of the freezer at the parents’ house, AND if I buy burger baps and cheese on my way over and IF you can get the bloody hamster back in its cage before it ends up on the BBQ on a stick, then we can have BBQ for dinner. And watch Dr Who, The Voice, Casualty and Bluestone 42. And eat more BBQ.

And we ate like KINGS….baked potatoes dripping with margarine, celery, tomato, feta, cucumber and radish salad, beetroot slices, cheese slices, BBQ-d veggie burgers/meatavarian sausages (depending on personal taste), white burger baps, fried onion…even the hamster got half a cucumber slice. Amazing what a little charcoal smoke and ultra-violet radiation will do for a meal.

Yes, I might have fallen off my No-Cheese wagon. But as this could easily be the only sunny day of 2013, I don’t feel too guilty.

This was however a slight interruption to Week of the Aubergine, the final recipe for which is below the cut…..

Serves two.
One aubergine, sliced thinly, salted for 30 minutes then drained, then fried gently in a pan with olive oil until golden brown
One can haricot beans
Soft brown bread, breadcrumbed
Garlic, minced
Onion, roughly sliced
Grated parmesan/fakeasan
Rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper
Tin of tomatoes plus tablespoon of tomato puree
Lemon zest

Chop the cooked aubergine into bite-sized pieces.
Gently fry the onion and garlic in olive oil for a minute or two, then add the rosemary and oregano.
Add the tomatoes and puree and bring to the boil, then add a canful of water, bring to boil again.
Transfer to a covered casserole dish and cook at 200C for 45 minutes in the oven.
Mix the breadcrumbs, more garlic, rosemary and oregano, parmesan, zest, salt and pepper and moisten with olive oil.
Take out casserole dish, cover the top of the stew with the breadcrumb mix, then bake uncovered in the oven for 20 minutes until crumbs are golden-brown and crisp.

I suspect potato, mushrooms, courgettes etc could work well in this dish, along with other types of bean than haricot.


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