Baked aubergine with tomatoes and marjoram

This lovely summery dish from Rachel Allen tastes best when made with fresh marjoram and really ripe tomatoes. Serve as a light main course or accompaniment to roast chicken or lamb
By Rachel Allen
Baked aubergine with tomatoes and marjoram
  • Rating:
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 2 large aubergines
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 650 g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (see cooks note)
  • pinches chillies, flakes
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp chopped or torn marjoram leaves
  • 1 ball mozzarella, torn into pieces, or 25g grated parmesan (optional)
  • 4 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted

Tips and Suggestions

To skin tomatoes, score a cross in the base of each tomato. Plunge the tomatoes into a bowl of boiling water for 1 minute then drain. When cool enough to handle, pull away the skins with your fingers - they should slip off easily. In winter you can replace the fresh tomatoes with a tin of chopped tomatoes. For a variation, try adding a few chopped anchovies or olives to the sauce before filling the aubergines.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 6.

2. Slice the aubergines in half lengthways. Using a teaspoon, scoop out most of the flesh, leaving a 5mm border around the edge.

3. Chop the flesh, tip it into a sieve set over a bowl and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.

4. While the aubergine flesh is salting, place the aubergine shells on an oiled baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

5. While theyre roasting, heat the 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over a low-medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cover and sweat over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the onion is soft and translucent.

6. Add the salted aubergine flesh, chopped tomatoes, chilli flakes and sugar, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over a low heat for 20-30 minutes or until reduced to a rich, thick sauce. Stir in the chopped marjoram and taste for seasoning.

7. Spoon the tomato sauce into the roasted aubergine shells and scatter over the mozzarella or grated parmesan, if using.

8. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the aubergines are tender and cooked at the sides and the filling is hot and bubbling.

9. Sprinkle with the toasted pinenuts and serve.

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