Last week I was lucky enough to be given some wild garlic by some foraging friends so I stuffed it in the food processor with some walnuts, Parmesan, lots of Olive Oil, salt, pepper and chili powder. I then put it in an airtight container with a topping of more oil to seal it. It will keep in the fridge for about 3 weeks and is great with fish, as a salad dressing or as a pesto with pasta. You could even mix it with lentils or butter beans to make a great vegetarian burger.
Another thing some of you may not know about me is that my husband is Jewish and as such we celebrate all of the Jewish fesitvals and rituals so that our 3 boys have an understanding of their cultural heritage. This means that every Friday we celebrate the start of Shabbat (the Sabbeth) with a loaf of Challah bread. Challah is a loaf of yeast-risen egg bread that is traditionally eaten by Jews on Shabbat, on ceremonial occasions and during festival holidays.
It is quite a sweet bread and the only person that actually seems to really like it is the littlest member of the family. This and the fact that it goes stale very quickly means that the hens normally get an extra treat on a Monday or a Tuesday.
However, this week I decided to use it as a base for a really quick Bread and Butter Pudding.
I buttered the Challah (you could use Brioche), sprinkled it with about 2tbsps of vanilla sugar (sugar flavoured with vanilla pods) and 100g of currants and then poured over 1 1/2 pints of milk mixed together with 4 eggs.
I bunged it in the Baking Oven of the Aga for 45 mins. In a conventional oven the temp would be about 160 degrees C.
I don’t really like aubergines..I find them a faff to prepare..all that salting to get rid of the bitterness and I’m not keen on the texture of them either. So what do you do with two aubergines that turn up in your veg box? Well they sat in the fridge for a week while all around them all the other veg got eaten, until they looked very sad and lonely. I refuse to throw food away but knew if I made something like moussaka I wouldn’t want to eat it..and then when I was in the supermarket I saw jars of aubergine pesto on sale and thought ‘I could easily make that and the aubergine will be all chopped up so no texture issues..hurrah’. So earlier in the week, that’s what I did and it was nice with some pasta and rocket but it only used up one of the aubergines and with the addition of Parmesen cheese I did find it very rich.
So this morning, with the remaining aubergine, I made a variation on the Pesto and here is my Lonely Aubergine Dip. It’s really scrummy and would taste great on it’s own or with fish.
Chop the Aubergine into thick slices, brush with olive oil and grill for 10-15 mins until slightly charred. Put the slices into a food processor.
Add 2 tsps of Dijon Mustard, juice of one lemon, half a bunch of basil, 2 cloves of garlic, one tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar, good glug of olive oil.
Whizz it all together to your preferred texture.