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Recipe of the week: Slow-cooked aubergines, tamarind, roasted onion, white bean purée

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Written by:
Recipe of the week: Slow-cooked aubergines, tamarind, roasted onion, white bean purée

Serves 4
2 aubergines
2tbs olive oil
2tbs vegetable oil
2 onions, peeled and halved from root to tip
2tbs non-dairy butter
300ml roasted vegetable stock (see below)
Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the white bean purée
150ml non-dairy milk
2 bay leaves
2tbs non-dairy butter
400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

For the tamarind sauce
50g tamarind paste
100ml roasted vegetable stock (see below)
1tbs agave syrup
1tbs cornflour
Coriander, to garnish

Roasted vegetable stock
2tbs vegetable oil
4 onions, removed and halved
1 leek, trimmed and cut into four
3 carrots, peeled and halved
2 celery stalks, halved
1 whole garlic bulb, halved horizontally
2tbs tomato paste
½tsp Marmite
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
6 white peppercorns
½tsp coriander seeds
½tsp fennel seeds

To make the stock, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. When almost smoking, add the onions, leek, carrots and celery and brown well. Add the garlic and brown for two minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and Marmite and mix well. Add eight litres of water followed by the remaining ingredients. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for two hours. Strain off and refrigerate the liquid for up to five days, or freeze in batches.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Halve the aubergines lengthways and score the flesh with diagonal lines. Drizzle with the olive oil and season well with salt. Place in a roasting tray, cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for a further 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, set an ovenproof saucepan or frying pan over a moderate heat and add the vegetable oil. When hot, put the onions, cut-side down, into the oil. Season well with salt and brown for eight minutes until golden, then add the butter and cook for a further eight minutes. Pour over the stock, bring to the boil, then cover the pan with a lid or foil. Transfer to the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove the onions from the pan and reserve the liquid.

For the bean purée, put the milk, bay leaves and butter in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer then remove from the heat, add the beans and cover and set aside to infuse for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, then blend the beans until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Season well and keep warm.

For the tamarind sauce, put the tamarind paste, stock and agave syrup in a medium saucepan. Add the cooking liquor from the onions, bring to a simmer and season well. Mix the cornflour with one tablespoon of water, then whisk into the sauce. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine sieve.

To serve, place a large dollop of white bean purée onto each plate and add an aubergine half. Using a fork, peel apart the layers of each onion and add to the plates. Finish with the tamarind sauce.

Recipe taken from Planted by Chantelle Nicholson >>

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