Tag Archives: eggplant

A Cauliflower & Eggplant Marriage

I have a confession…If you were to take a look in my fridge vegetable drawer you may find a limp, sad old cauliflower turning grey and brown around the edges. I am terrible for meaning well and buying  a cauli every now and then, when the time comes to using it I reach for the much more exciting cavalo nero, slim shiny green beans or spunky beetroot!.  I was finally inspired out of my CAULIFLOWER APATHY by a delicious eggplant, cauliflower and coriander salad I ate at Christchurchs newly reopened VICS cafe on Victoria street. I raced home and started trawling the internet to find a similar recipe and came up with zero. I thought I did get an audition to Masterchef (which sadly I turned down) surely this can not be too hard to replicate, so here is the recipe I came up with. Any recipe testers out there please let me know how you like it. I teamed mine with a delicious Wholemeal Lentil pie, just like VICS cafe.

Cauliflower and Eggplant salad

Fresh Cauliflower, Eggplant and Coriander Salad

RECIPE –Cauliflower and Eggplant Salad


  • 1 cauliflower, broken into florets and blanched
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 tsp coriander ground seeds
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Olive oil – However much is needed to get the job done
  • 1 Lemon 
  • 1 knob of butter


  1. Pre heat oven to  200 deg
  2. Boil salted water blanch cauliflower and refresh under cold water. Set aside.
  3. Chop eggplant into small to medium cubes, drizzle with oil and season with sea salt
  4. Roast in the pre heated oven for about 20-25 min until cooked through and soft.
  5. Heat a small frypan and melt the butter and oil, add the garlic and then the spices. Then add in the cauliflower to coat.
  6. Tip this into a salad bowl add the cooked eggplant, season and add chopped fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  7. This is excellent on its own as a light salad or great as a side dish.

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Tian of South Island NZ Vegetables

Tian of vegetables baked with olive oil and herbsTian- I just like the sound of it. A fancy european name for baked vegetables.  A TianI believe is actually referring to the type of  heavy earthenware pot they cook this dish in France. Recently I have been making variations of this traditional dish, which has origins in Italy and France. I found the first recipe in Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course cook book. I then realised I had previously enjoyed a similar recipe by New Zealand MasterChef judge, Chef and foodwriter Ray McVinnie from his new cookbook http://www.mags4gifts.co.nz/everyday-sunday. This version was delicious and included a cup of cooked rice:  I added cooked brown rice which gave a lovely nutty flavour. Nutritious addition of lightly cooked silverbeet, two eggs beaten made a complete vegetarian meal of this dish. I do highly recommend this easy way of bakingto help use up all the late summer/autumn aubergines, peppers, courgettes, tomatoes which seem to still be in abundance and well priced at my local farmers market.

Recipe extracted from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course cook book – Tian of Mediterranean Vegetables baked with Olive Oil and Herbs (Serves 8-10)

  • 3 small aubergines, about 700g
  • 900g very ripe tomatoes, peeled
  • 600g courgettes, 4 spring onions, thinly sliced or 1 onion very thinly sliced, 125-175ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 2-4 teaspoons freshly chopped herbs (e:g) Rosemary, thyme or I used Basil, sea salt & cracked pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 200c
  2. Prepare the vegetables: cut the aubergines in 1cm  slices, sprinkle them with good quality salt and leave to degorge for 15-20minutes. Rinse and pat dry with kitchen paper. Drop the tomatoes in a bowl of boiling water for ten seconds then peel and cut in thick slices. Slice the courgettes at an angle in 1 cm slices.
  3. Drizzle a tian or shallow baking dish with half the olive oil, sprinkle in the spring onions and some chopped herbs, arrange the aubergine slices alternatively with tomatoes and courgettes. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle over a little more marjoram. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through. (Keep an eye on them:you may need to cover them with tin foil if they are getting too charred.) Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


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