Lynda Booth from the Dublin Cookery School shares her recipe for aubergine and ricotta gratin, a perfect veggie alternative for this time of year.
You will need:
For the tomato sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
½ teaspoon sugar
3 large aubergines olive oil, for cooking
For the ricotta topping:
110g ricotta cheese
1 handful of freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for the top
10 basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 220˚C/gas mark 7. To make the tomato sauce: heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and add the chopped onion. Season with salt, cover with a lid and reduce the heat.
- Cook the onions for about 10 minutes until softened, stirring regularly. Add the garlic, cook out for a couple of minutes and then mix in the tinned tomatoes and sugar. Season. Simmer until the tomatoes have reduced to a thickish sauce, about 30-40 minutes.
- To roast the aubergines, slice the aubergine into rounds about 5mm thick. Pour some olive oil into a ramekin or small bowl and, with a pastry brush, paint both sides of the aubergine with the oil. Place the aubergine slices in a single layer on a baking tray (use a silicone mat if you have one). Season each slice. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning the aubergine slices over half-way through the cooking. Cook until they are lightly coloured and totally tender. If they look a little dry when you turn them, paint the surface again with some olive oil and return to the oven.
- To make the ricotta topping, place the ricotta in a small bowl and break up with a fork. Beat in the egg and cream. Season and stir in a good fistful of Parmesan cheese and a few shredded basil leaves.
Taken from Fearless Food by Lynda Booth (DCS Publishing). Photography: Joanne Murphy