The first of this season’s Wicklow Aubergines

July 16, 2010

I know. Funny to think that something so mediterranean came  from just 45 minutes away in Wicklow. Seasonal eating isn’t all about root veg and cabbages you know. Irish growers are producing very fancy stuff indeed these days. Last week courgette flowers from the Healys, this week Marc Michel’s aubergines. Whatever next? Well, tomatoes, basil and broccoli actually. So, a big shout out to the Irish growers for bringing all these goodies to us. It makes my job (selling veggies) so much easier not to mention very very tasty.

I noticed during the week that a lot of food bloggers did posts on spanish food after the world cup. Well, I find it difficult not to write about spanish food every week as it’s what always seems most natural to me. I lived and cooked  in Barcelona for nearly 8 years so, like most people there, I will start an onion frying in olive oil almost before I know what I’m going to cook. And, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, garlic and tomatoes are usually not far behind.

This week’s recipe comes from one of the few parts of Spain that didn’t have very mixed feelings about last Sunday’s result – the south where they eat aubergines right through the summer. It’s a very simple one that I was reminded of when leafing through one of the Moro cookbooks recently. Berenjenas fritas – fried aubergines. Basically you dip slices of aubergine in a gram (chickpea) flour batter then deep-fry til golden. You’ll find them in any bar over there where they often come with a drizzle of local honey. Perfect with a cold beer before dinner….

Berenjenas Fritas

You’ll need:

2 Aubergines (about 400gr)

150gr Gram flour

180 ml fizzy water (I use more water than the Moro recipe so the batter is lighter)

A pinch of bread soda

A pinch of fine salt

Vegetable oil for frying

Begin by whisking the flour, water, salt and bread soda together until smooth. Set aside for 20 minutes and slice your aubergines into rounds about 1cm-1.50cm thick. Heat about 3 cm of veg oil in a pan. When the oil is ready (hot but not smoking) dip the aubergines in the batter and gently drop them into the oil. A minute on each side should do it. Dry on kitchen paper then drizzle with runny honey.

If you want a different vibe, try them tempura style (see last week’s blogpost) then make a dipping sauce with chilli, soy, lime juice and a tiny bit of honey.

We’re off down to Marc Michel’s farm tomorrow so if you fancy a bit of country air please feel free to come along (map on our Facebook page)

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