Starters

 

Grilled aubergine slices with ricotta, mint, anchovy and artichoke

This is just an easy and light starter or accompaniment to a summer BBQ.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Ausma

Ingredients

  • 1 large aubergine
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Ricotta for spreading
  • 6 artichoke hearts in brine
  • 4 small anchovy fillets in oil
  • Handful of mixed herbs chives, thyme, mint…
  • Pepper for seasoning
  • Parmesan shavings quantity depending on your love of cheese!
  • 4 tsp dukkah or just a mixture of your favourite seeds and nuts

Instructions

  1. Slice an aubergine lengthways into 1cm thick slices.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and fry on a griddle pan or BBQ until softened and lightly charred on both sides.
  3. Combine the artichoke, anchovies and herbs and season with pepper.
  4. Spread aubergine slices thinly with ricotta.
  5. Pile the artichoke topping onto the aubergine slices.
  6. Top the aubergine slices with shavings of parmesan or any other strong, hard cheese.
  7. Place the aubergine slices onder the grill for a few minutes until browned on top.
  8. Sprinkle with dukkah (easily homemade with just a mixture of seeds and nuts.

Caramelized red onion and goats' cheese tartlets

These are lovely simple tartlets wonderful as a starter or as part of a canape selection
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 12 pieces
Author adapted from Alex's mum's recipe

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 175 g flour
  • 75 g butter
  • 40 g parmesan
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • Cayenne pepper

For the filling

  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 large red onions finely chopped
  • balsamic vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • 110 g goats’ cheese
  • Sprigs of thyme dipped in olive oil
  • 25 g butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 120 ml single cream
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

For the pastry

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the butter.
  2. Combine until resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the parmesan, mustard, a pinch of cayenne pepper and 1 ½ tablespoons cold water to make a smooth dough.
  4. Place the dough in a plastic food bag and rest in the fridge for 30mins.
  5. Roll out the dough as thinly as possible and stamp out rounds to line the muffin tin holes.
  6. The rounds should be a bit bigger than the holes, to allow for shrinkage.
  7. Prick the bases and brush with beaten egg.
  8. Bake on the middle shelf for about 10mins until the pastry is cooked through.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.

For the filling

  1. Caramelize the onion in a pan with a splash of vinegar and a level teaspoon of brown sugar.
  2. Whisk the egg with the cream and mustart and add seasoning.
  3. Spoon a little of the onion mixture into each pastry case and pour the egg mixture over.
  4. Top with a slice of goats’ cheese and a sprig of thyme.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20mins.

 

Smoked aubergine pesto

We made this a lot last year with the aubergines from our balcony farm. This version is our own invention.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2
Author our own recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 aubergine
  • 25 g pine nuts or any other nuts
  • parmesan
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • smoked paprika powder

Instructions

  1. Put a whole aubergine on the direct flame in the BBQ for 30mins. Don't worry, it will look like it has burned, but the flesh inside will be nice and smoky!
  2. Take out the aubergine flesh and mix with the nuts, parmesan, olive oil and lemon juice.
  3. Top with smoked paprika powder.
  4. Serve on crusty bread.

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