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Baby Aubergines With Oregano & Red Onion

by . Featured in NIGELLISSIMA
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Introduction

I remember, when I was in the south of Italy, eating aubergines that had been roughly chopped, sprinkled with dried wild oregano, doused with olive oil and then roasted with a little garlic and a lot of red onions. This below, is my version: quicker, yes, but I also like the way it can be eaten as a starter or part of an antipasti table, and even as a main course, sprinkled with some ricotta salata or crumbled feta, or as an accompaniment to meat and fish. If you are adding cheese, then sprinkle it over before topping with the onions, which are turned a glorious, luminescent puce by their red wine vinegar marinade.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I remember, when I was in the south of Italy, eating aubergines that had been roughly chopped, sprinkled with dried wild oregano, doused with olive oil and then roasted with a little garlic and a lot of red onions. This below, is my version: quicker, yes, but I also like the way it can be eaten as a starter or part of an antipasti table, and even as a main course, sprinkled with some ricotta salata or crumbled feta, or as an accompaniment to meat and fish. If you are adding cheese, then sprinkle it over before topping with the onions, which are turned a glorious, luminescent puce by their red wine vinegar marinade.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Baby Aubergines with Red Onion
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 6 as a side

Metric Cups
  • 500 grams baby aubergines
  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons regular olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 small red onion (cut into thin half-moons)
  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes (or to taste)
  • 4 x 15ml tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled)
  • 1½ x 15ml tablespoons cold water
  • 3 - 4 sprigs fresh oregano (optional)
  • 1 pound 2 ounces baby eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons regular olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 small red onion (cut into thin half-moons)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled)
  • 1½ tablespoons cold water
  • 3 - 4 sprigs fresh oregano (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 250ºC/230ºC/gas mark 9/450ºF.
  2. Slice the baby aubergines in half lengthways, keeping the stalks on; this is an aesthetic consideration, nothing to do with flavour, but humour me.
  3. Pour the 3 tablespoons regular olive oil into a very shallow roasting tin, sprinkle in the dried oregano, add the aubergines, cut-side down, and swirl them gently around. Then turn them so they are cut-side up and put the tray in the hot oven for 15 minutes, by which time they should be tender and turning gold in parts.
  4. As soon as the aubergines are in the oven, put the fine half-moons of red onion in a bowl and cover with the red wine vinegar and salt.
  5. Remove the cooked aubergines to a platter, and now whisk into the vinegary onions the extra-virgin olive oil, then grate in (or mince and add) the garlic, and finally, whisk in the cold water.
  6. Pour this over the warm aubergines, using your hands to arrange the glowingly pink onion over them evenly, then leave it all for about half an hour to cool to room temperature before you eat, scattering with fresh oregano, if you have any, when serving.
  1. Preheat the oven to 250ºC/230ºC/gas mark 9/450ºF.
  2. Slice the baby eggplants in half lengthways, keeping the stalks on; this is an aesthetic consideration, nothing to do with flavour, but humour me.
  3. Pour the 3 tablespoons regular olive oil into a very shallow roasting tin, sprinkle in the dried oregano, add the aubergines, cut-side down, and swirl them gently around. Then turn them so they are cut-side up and put the tray in the hot oven for 15 minutes, by which time they should be tender and turning gold in parts.
  4. As soon as the aubergines are in the oven, put the fine half-moons of red onion in a bowl and cover with the red wine vinegar and salt.
  5. Remove the cooked aubergines to a platter, and now whisk into the vinegary onions the extra-virgin olive oil, then grate in (or mince and add) the garlic, and finally, whisk in the cold water.
  6. Pour this over the warm aubergines, using your hands to arrange the glowingly pink onion over them evenly, then leave it all for about half an hour to cool to room temperature before you eat, scattering with fresh oregano, if you have any, when serving.

Tell us what you think

What 1 Other has said

  • This recipe was a huge hit with my family .. Easy to make and super delicious .

    Posted by Margarett on 12th June 2020
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