Grilled Aubergines with Chilli Peppers & Mint
Given half a chance aubergines will soak up oil like a sponge with water so salting and grilling offers a lighter option to frying. The aubergine slices become charred and smoky on top but soft and succulent in the middle. This gutsy dish, spiked with chilli and mint, is wonderful served warm with a Sunday roast of lamb or with a grilled piece of chicken. It also makes a great cold salad with some crumbled feta cheese on top.
2 medium aubergines, about 450g total weight
Salt and ground black pepper
1 small bunch fresh mint
A good fruity olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon finely chopped red chilli pepper
200ml tub reduced-fat houmous
8 tablespoons low-fat natural yoghurt
25g pine nuts
1. Thickly slice the aubergines into chunky rounds about 1cm / ½ inch thick (if they're too thin they will just burn and stick). Make a few quick shallow slashes across each flat side then sprinkle the aubergines lightly with salt and set aside while you make the mint dressing.
2. Chop the mint quite roughly, then stir together with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice, chilli pepper and seasoning. Be generous with the pepper, tasting as you go. The dressing should be quite lively! Beat together the houmous and yoghurt.
3. Rinse the aubergines gently then pat them dry. Brush a baking sheet with a little oil and arrange the slices on it in one layer (cook in two batches if necessary).
4. Brush the aubergine slices lightly with oil and put them under a hot grill. When they are soft and golden and beginning to char at the edges, after about 4-5 minutes, turn them over and cook the other side for 3-4 minutes.
5. Sprinkle over the pinenuts and pop back under the grill for 1-2 minutes until toasted. Lift the aubergines off the baking sheet and onto a warmed plate. Spoon the mint dressing over and around the aubergines and serve hot with the hummous to dollop on top and a sprinkling of pinenuts.