Smoky Aubergine Timbales

Smoked paprika adds a delicious flavour to Celia Brooks Brown's elegant vegetarian timbales, ideal for dinner party entertaining
By Celia Brooks Brown
Smoky Aubergine Timbales
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4 as a starter or 2 as a main course
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus cooling
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

main

  • 2 large aubergines
  • 2 clove garlic, sliced
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • black pepper
  • 125 g ricotta cheese
  • 50 g rocket, to garnish

For the smoky pesto:

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 20 g basil
  • 50 g pine kernels
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 30 g parmesan, grated
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • a pinch of salt

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5.

2. Slice the aubergines into 1cm thick discs.

3. In a cup, combine the garlic and olive oil; brush both sides of the aubergine discs with this garlic oil.

4. Place the aubergine discs on a baking sheet and seaso with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake the aubergine until soft and barely golden - 20-30 minutes. Leave to cool.

6. To make the smoky pesto, place the smoked paprika, basil, pine nuts, garlic and Parmesan in a food processor. Blend into a paste, adding the olive oil at the end. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.

7. Brush 4 ramekins lightly with olive oil and place a baked aubergine slice in each one. Top with about a tablespoon of ricotta, a generous spoonful of the smoky pesto, then another aubergine slice. Continue with another layer of ricotta, pesto, then aubergine.

8. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until sizzling.

9. Cool briefly before inverting - place a plate or tart tin base on top of each timbale, flip over, and slide onto plates. Scatter rocket leaves around the timbales and serve.

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