For the roasted aubergine
1 tbsp sumac 1 tbsp olive oil 1 aubergine, halved
For the Sicilian dressing
1 tbsp olive oil ½ red onion, peeled and finely chopped 2 celery stalks, finely chopped 400ml passata 2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped 2 tbsp black olives, roughly chopped 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 15g 70% dark chocolate 2 tbsp flaked almonds mint
We celebrate following a more plant based diet. Aubergine’s are an incredibly versatile ingredient to use – we love how easy it is to create delicious dishes from something so simple.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. To a large bowl, add the olive oil and the sumac and mix to combine. Add the aubergine halves to the bowl, tossing them round in the olive oil & sumac mix until they are fully coated. Place the halves cut side facing upwards on a lined baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
For the dressing, add the olive oil to a medium sized pan and heat over a medium flame. Add the diced red onion and diced celery and cook until the vegetables have softened and turned slightly translucent. Add the passata, capers, olives and red wine vinegar. Bring to the boil and then place a lid on the saucepan, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes. If the sauce looks to be getting too thick, add 100ml water. When the sauce has thickened, add the dark chocolate and stir it through so it melts. Taste and add seasoning if necessary. Allow the sauce to cool.
For the garnish, heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the flaked almonds. Stir them frequently for an even toasting and when they have turned golden brown, remove from the pan to cool. Meanwhile, pick the mint leaves from the stalk and place them on top of each other. Roll the stack of leaves into a cigar shape and then chop with a sharp knife to create mint ribbons.
Plate the aubergine half and top with the cooled Sicilian dressing (always serve at room temperature), toasted almonds and mint ribbons.