Chantelle Nicholson’s Slow-Cooked Aubergines, With Roasted Onion & White Bean Purée

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Chantelle Nicholson serves up a stunning slow-roasted aubergine recipe, served with a luscious white bean purée and tangy tamarind sauce for a delectable vegan dinner party dish


Ingredients
For the slow-roast aubergines:
•  2 aubergines
•  2 tbsp of olive oil
•  2 tbsp of vegetable oil
•  2 onions, peeled and halved from root to tip
•  2 tbsp of non-dairy butter
•  300ml of vegetable stock, see recipe below
•  sea salt
•  freshly ground black pepper

For the white bean purée:
• 150ml of non-dairy milk
•  2 bay leaves
•  2 tbsp of non-dairy butter
•  400g of tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
•  sea salt
•  freshly ground black pepper

For the tamarind sauce:
•  50g of tamarind paste
•  100ml of vegetable stock, see recipe below
•  1 tbsp of agave syrup
•  1 tbsp of cornflour

To serve:
•  coriander, to garnish

For the roasted vegetable stock:
•  1 tbsp of vegetable oil
•  2 onions, roots removed and halved
•  1/2 leek, or 1 small leek, cut into four
•  2 small carrots, peeled and halved
•  1 celery stick, halved
•  1/2 garlic bulb, halved
•  1 tbsp of tomato paste
•  1/4 tsp Marmite
•  1 sprig of rosemary
•  1 bay leaf
•  2 sprigs of thyme
•  3 white peppercorns
•  1/4 tsp coriander seeds
•  1/4 tsp fennel seeds

Method
1 To begin, make the roasted vegetable stock. You will not need all of it for this recipe, but any excess can be frozen for use in other dishes. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. When almost smoking, add the onion, leek, carrots and celery and brown well. Add the garlic and brown for 2 minutes
2 Stir in the tomato paste and Marmite and mix well. Add 4l water, followed by the remaining ingredients. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 hours. Strain off and refrigerate the liquid for up to 5 days, or freeze in batches
3 Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
4 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.
5 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 8 minutes until golden, then add the butter and cook for a further 8 minutes.
6 Pour over 300ml of the stock, bring to the boil, then cover the pan with a lid or foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove the onions from the pan and reserve the liquid.
7 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.
8 For the tamarind sauce, put the tamarind paste, 100ml 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 1 tablespoon of water, then whisk into the sauce. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine sieve.
9 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 and garnish with coriander

Recipe extracted from Planted by Chantelle Nicholson, published by Kyle Books. Images by Nassima Rothacker.

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