Myrna Robins

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Posted by on in Recipes

No other brinjal recipe comes close to this one for optimal enjoyment. It takes time, but it’s worth every minute, making a wonderful first course for a late summer lunch or as part of a buffet of Med fare. I have simplified the recipe from Delia Smith (Delia’s How to Cook, Book 2) a little – she, in turn, sourced it from Elizabeth David via a London restaurant called Chez Bruce.

About 700g fresh purple aubergines, cubed, unskinned

2 – 3 T fresh coriander leaves, choppedb2ap3_thumbnail_brinjal.jpg

About 700g firm, ripe, bright red tomatoes

45ml good Cape olive oil

About 300g onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 large mild red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1tsp powdered cumin

1and half tsp powdered allspice

Salt and ground black pepper

To serve:

1T top quality Cape olive oil

Pita breads or bread of your choice

4T Greek yoghurt

Additional chopped coriander leaves

Chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)

The day before it’s required, salt aubergine cubes, place in colander and leave to drain for an hour, stirring mixture after 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 230 degC. Skin tomatoes by leaving them in boiling water for 1 minute, then slipping skins off. Halve and place cut side up on oiled baking tray. Brush with olive oil.

Rinse aubergine cubes under cold running water, dry and transfer to a bowl. Add 1T olive oil and toss to coat. Spread out on a baking tray. When oven is ready, place aubergine tray high and tomatoes underneath and bake for about 25 minutes (less for fan ovens) until aubergines are tinged gold and tomatoes tender. Remove. Chop tomatoes when cooled.

Heat 2T olive oil in large pan and fry onion until softened and golden, about 10 minutes. Add chilli and garlic and fry for 1 further minute. Add tomatoes, aubergine, cumin and allspice , stir well, bring to a simmer and season to taste. Transfer contents of pan to serving dish, cover, and leave overnight in the fridge.

Next day bring mixture to room temperature, drizzle with fine olive oil, top with a dollop of Greek yoghurt (serve more on the side) garnish with coriander and mint leaves and serve with pitas or bread of your choice. Serves 4 or more.

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Posted by on in Recipes

Occasionally I will pop a recipe into this section, something that I have found both delicious, uncomplicated, seasonal and popular with diners. Already there is a hint of autumn in the early morning and evening air, which means that the time is ripe for harvest fare, for Mediterreanean specialities, and for treats made from apples and pears.

This is when my recipe for vegetarian friends (of which there are many in the village of McGregor) comes into its own, as gardens are full of ripe tomatoes and sweet red peppers. It’s a dish that carnivores also savour, whether as a main course or a side to accompany lamb chops or a lemony roast chicken.


Make your favourite version of ratatouille, using onion, garlic, courgette, fresh tomato, brinjal and red bell peppers. I also add fresh thyme. Use plenty of good olive oil as this is intrinsic to the flavour, and season well. The final mix should be fairly thick, and fill an ovenproof dish about two-thirds full. Then whisk 2 – 3 extra-large free-range eggs well, season and stir in a good quantity of coarsely-grated parmesan or grana. Bake at 180 deg C until topping has set and veggies are bubbling. Serve hot or lukewarm. Accompany with French and wholewheat breads or add your choice of carb. Number of servings depends on how big a ratatouille you have made.

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