Thursday, 10 July 2014

Rocket & Roses Garlic Griddled Aubergines with Hot Cold Dressing (vegan & gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Jack Savoretti ~ Between The Minds Album

During a recent trip over the bridge to the city I had the pleasure of a slow pootle around The Indie (Indian & Continental) Store. Although I only had one ingredient to pick up that day it always feels wrong not to cruise the fresh veggies section. When I need to pick up mooli, ong choi and such like..the Indie Store is the place to be. They also have some veggies on their shelves that are so fugly that you just wouldn't want to purchase them...unless you go away and research them first like I do. Sometimes my interest is piqued and I go back and buy some...other times I go with the ' way...looks like an alien egg' thought. lol. However I find this store fascinating and it's always a good source of inspiration should I feel 'blocked' creatively. Food wise of course...sadly it does nothing for my other work! Amongst their fresh veggies they always have a good and varied supply of aubergines. It's where I go to buy my long thin aubergines for making baked ratatouille also baby aubergines and the little green Thai aubergines that I sometime use. Of course they stock the regular bulbous purple aubergines which would also work in today's recipe. But I have been looking at the Asian aubergines for a little while and have been wanting to create something with them...and during the recent trip I found myself loading ML's awaiting basket with the little blighters.

As I am still on my journey to finding my aubergine love, it is very much a necessity that however I cook my aubergines they must not be the only flavour on the plate and must be succulent when cut into. Too many horrifying woody aubergine steaks in my past. Therefore finding my aubergine love is still a work in I am getting there. I was looking for a dish that I could serve during the summer at a vegan bbq. This was where the idea started...I wanted to be able to throw those purple veggies onto a hot griddle and then serve, drizzled with a good tasting dressing.  The dressing also needed to be very simple and that is where the Hot Cold idea sprang from. I wanted a dressing that could be made in advance and served cold or at room temperature but it also had to be packed with flavour. 

I heated my stove top griddle for the testing process and heated it to smoking point. I sliced the aubergines in half and then brushed each side with garlic infused olive oil and threw them on the griddle. After the initial scolding of each side I turned the heat down to allow them to cook more slowly so the juices could soften up each piece. The dressing started with my favourite fresh ingredients of chilli, garlic and ginger. I added other ingredients as I went along..tasting to make adjustments. I served the aubergine pieces over some cooked brown rice and then drizzled the dressing over each piece. 

This is one intense dish...and not for the plain food lover. You have to have a certain respect and liking of the heady heat that fresh chili, garlic and ginger can give. The dressing is mellowed out a little with the other ingredients. Of course you could use a milder chilli and de-seed it but personally I wanted the heat that a Birds Eye chilli provides. The aubergines were perfectly cooked and the dressing worked well alongside. The intense flavours were softened with the brown rice added to them. But still..not a dish for the faint hearted!

Rocket & Roses Garlic Griddled Aubergines with Hot Cold Dressing (vegan & gluten-free)
Rocket & Roses Garlic Griddled Aubergines with Hot Cold Dressing    Serves 4-6
(Original recipes from the Rocket & Roses Vegan Kitchen)

cooked brown rice, kept warmed to serve 

9 Asian aubergines, stalk removed and halved
garlic oil to brush aubergines 
5 baby sweetcorn, halved 

for the dressing:
2" piece of fresh ginger, micro-grated
2 garlic cloves, micro-grated
1 lg spring onion, trimmed, finely chopped
3/4 red Birds Eye chilli, finely chopped with seeds 
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar 
1 tbsp Braggs Liquid Animos (low sodium soy sauce or tamari)
1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil 
1/2 tbsp agave nectar 

Heat a griddle to the smoking point and quickly place the aubergines flesh side down and press down with a spatula for 30 seconds. Flip and repeat. Turn the heat down to med/high and then flip the slices once again. Leave to cook for 5 minutes, going back to press down with the spatula occasionally. 

Meanwhile add all the dressing ingredients into a med sized bowl and whisk until then have emulsified a little. Set to one side or place into a serving bowl. If making ahead of time store in the fridge. 

Flip the slices one last time and add the baby corn, cook for another 4 minutes, pressing down occasionally with the spatula. 

To serve...spoon some warm rice onto a plate and add some slices of aubergine and baby sweetcorn on the rice bed. Then drizzle, using a spoon, the Hot Cold dressing over each slice of aubergine.  


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Thursday is a great one...nearly the weekend folks. Tomorrow I shall be posting up the vegan chocolate posting so its a weekend of indulgence and I will be back with you on Wednesday. 


NB: This is my creation. I have no problem with you using the recipe or sharing it. I simply ask that you give credit where it's due as I always try too. Many thanks...Namaste. ~R~