This salad was sort of an accident, but by gum was it a success.
Now it might seem harsh (but I don’t think he would mind), to describe my step father as a salad dodger. I would like to go as far to crown him the ultimate salad dodger, but perhaps that would be mean. He has a penchant for steak and potato in any form, but he has recently started eating yoghurt and we are all over the moon.
However, it would be not only be a little mean but also completely inaccurate to describe as such, because he loved this salad. He didn’t dodge it, in fact he was crying out for more! He even asked about it the next day. Need I say more to convince you of how delicious this salad is?
Well I know I don’t, but I would like to. This salad was the result of a fridge forage. And a pretty successful forage at that. Deep in the depths of the fridge I found an ever-so slightly squidgey aubergine, slightly past it tomatoes and a pot of ricotta. I even managed to wrestle some rocket from deep inside the fridge. Fridge foraging at its very best.
The aubergines are gently fried which gives them just the most delicious texture and is one of my favourite ways to eat them. The tomatoes are then gently heated just for a matter of moments with lots of garlic. A completely heavenly mixture which elevates this from a ‘salad’ to something far more interesting and delicious.
The creamy ricotta goes beautifully with the other ingredients but could also be substituted with mozzarella or creamy burrata. Obviously if you are vegan, or completely dairy free you could leave this out. I am dairy free, but cheese is the one exception, although I try to limit how often I have it.
As with lots of my recipes, there is lots of room for error in here, and more than likely bunging the correct ingredients in, even if the quantities are slightly off – so this is a very relaxing salad to make. As all cooking should be. Happy days.
- 2 aubergine
- 200g cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- good glug of olive oil
- handful of rocket
- 200g ricotta
- salt, pepper
- First, slice the aubergine in half length ways and then slice in half length ways again. Then chop up into little chunks about the same size as a bottle top.
- Get a large frying pan on the heat and add a good glug of olive oil. Fry the aubergine until golden but not crispy. Scoop onto kitchen paper and sprinkle with good pinch of salt. You may need to fry the aubergine in batches depending on how big your pan is, as if the aubergine is too crowded you won't get it lovely and golden.
- Now, for the tomatoes, slice them in half, across their equators. Or where their belts would be....
- Add another generous slug of olive oil to the pan and once it's good and hot, add the tomatoes and cook for a minute. You want them warmed through and softened ever so slightly, but you don't want them to lose their shape. Now add the crushed garlic, and cook for another 3o seconds. Whatever you do, don't let the garlic burn.
- Pop the aubergine in a serving dish, and then pour over the tomatoes, garlic and their insanely delicious oil. That oil serves as your dressing and it's like gold dust.
- Spoon over blobs of ricotta and sprinkle with rocket leaves.
I love this will cold roast beef, or along side some lamb chops. Or just as it is. Give it a go, I know you’ll love it. Simple Summer cooking at it’s best.