Olia Hercules' caramelised vegetable caviar

This dip is not a looker, but it sure has soul. Add toasted coriander or cumin seeds, if you like. It makes sense to make a large batch as it keeps in the fridge for a week, in a sterilised jar with a film of olive oil.
 
Ingredients
 
  • 4-6 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 aubergine (about 300g), diced
  • 2 courgettes (about 300g), diced 
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion (or 150g shallots), diced 
  • 2 carrots (about 150g), coarsely grated
  • 5 tomatoes (about 300g), coarsely grated 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • handful coriander, chopped 
  • handful pomegranate seeds
 
Method
 
1. Heat 2 tbsp oil each in 2 large frying pans. Divide the aubergine, courgette, pepper and onion between the pans, season and sauté until nicely caramelised, up to 30 minutes.
 
2. Whizz all the caramelised vegetables in a food processor, then put them back in one of the pans with the carrot and tomato pulp. Cook over a medium heat for about 1 hour, stirring from time to time, until you have a thick, dark brown paste. Add a little oil if it starts to look dry.
 
3. Add the garlic for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Season and serve with a slick of oil, the coriander and the pomegranate seeds, plus torn pitta breads or crudités, if liked.

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