The festive season is fast approaching and my family goes big on Christmas. Forget the presents. For us, Christmas is all about the food, spending time together and taking advantage of the tanning weather while up the West Coast. But its mostly about the food. Our menu preparation for the Christmas meals – plural because there’s always more than one – takes place months in advance.
I’m constantly trying out new recipes throughout the year, but during the festive season things get intense. As soon as it’s November or December you can be sure that I’m spending an insane amount of time in the kitchen. There’s something about this time of year that always has me feeling inspired. For us, getting the right side dishes, turkey stuffing and selection of dessert choices takes practice. Each year our Christmas meal varies from the last. We’re not the type to strictly stick to the traditional Christmas meal choices either (don’t panic, mince pies are always involved. Always.) Though one thing is for certain – Queen Nigella’s Gammon recipe will always be a part of our festive feasting.
This little side dish might make the cut for our Christmas lunch. It’s still in recipe development (Wah, how shmancy). However, I can assure you it’s a recipe that will be enjoyed during the summer holiday we’re about to embark on with family and friends. As a side dish or a humble meal by itself – this one is a goodie.
Cut your aubergine in half and brush over it with a generous amount of runny honey and olive oil. This will remind you (okay, me) of that one damn good tapas dish you (I) had in Spain during their summer in June. Reminisce. The last moments of the year are all about being grateful for the adventures and memories made throughout it. Cry a little because of the flavour combination you’ve just pulled off (or don’t. That’s a bit dramatic.) It’s sweet, it’s savoury, it’s everything good in this world. Bake the aubergines until golden brown and a little crispy. Serve with a dollop of flavoured Greek yoghurt and sprinkle over some freshly chopped up coriander. Yes yes yes.
Wait. I got ahead of myself. The festive season does that to a girl. For a serious breakdown of this fragrant, honeyed delish side dish – which includes a quick tomato pickle – recipe below!Cooking time: 15-20 minutes Prep time: 15 minutes Makes: 2 aubergine halves (or 4 halves if you’re able to add another aubergine onto your baking tray).
- 1 aubergine, halved
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp honey
- 4 tbsp of Greek yoghurt
- 1 tbsp coriander, chopped
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Salt & Pepper to season
- 8-10 baby tomatoes, chopped in halves
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp garlic, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 220’C.
- The Aubergine: Mix the honey and olive oil together in a small bowl. (If your honey isn’t runny enough for it to mix into the olive oil, you can heat it up for 30 seconds in a microwave.) Add in 1 tsp of garlic and season with salt and pepper.
- Slice your aubergine in half length-ways. Brush the flesh of the aubergine with the honey and olive oil mixture.
- Place the aubergine halves onto a lined baking tray and into the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
- The Yoghurt Dressing: While the aubergines are in the oven, begin to prepare the coriander and lemon yoghurt. Place the yoghurt, lemon juice and chopped coriander in a bowl and mix together. Allow the dressing to marinade for 10 minutes and season to taste.
- The Quick Pickle Tomatoes: In a separate bowl – mix the tomatoes, vinegar and 1 tsp garlic together. Allow to marinade for 1o minutes and season to taste.
- Once the aubergines are cooked through, place them onto a cooling rack for 10-15 minutes.
- Time to serve! Place a dollop of the yoghurt dressing on top of the aubergines and layer the garlicky pickled tomatoes over the top. Sprinkle some freshly chopped coriander on top and enjoy.