Baked aubergines with yogurt

Baked aubergines with yogurt


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About this recipe: In this delicious supper dish, grilled slices of aubergine and courgette are layered with a rich tomato sauce and cumin-flavoured yogurt, then baked. Thick slices of Greek daktyla bread – topped with sesame, black onion and anise seeds – and a crisp green salad are perfect accompaniments.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 4 

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes, about 400 g
  • 2 tsp sun-dried tomato paste
  • 6 tbsp dry red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 aubergines, about 675 g (1½ lb) in total, cut into 1 cm (½ in) slices
  • 3 courgettes, about 450 g (1 lb) in total, thinly sliced sliced
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 400 g (14 oz) plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 30 g (1 oz) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • salt and pepper

Prep:50min  ›  Cook:45min  ›  Ready in:1hr35min 

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook for about 8 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, stirring. Stir in the chopped tomatoes with their juice, the tomato paste, wine and bay leaf. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  2. Uncover the pan and let the sauce bubble for a further 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, preheat the grill to moderate. Lightly brush the aubergine and courgette slices with the remaining 2 tbsp oil. Cook under the grill, in batches, for 3–4 minutes on each side or until browned and very tender.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Stir the cumin into half of the yogurt.
  5. Arrange one-third of the aubergine slices, in one layer, in a large ovenproof dish that is about 2.5 litres (4 pints) capacity. Spoon over half of the tomato sauce. Arrange half of the courgette slices on top, in one layer, then drizzle with half of the cumin-flavoured yogurt. Repeat the layers, then finish with a layer of the remaining aubergine slices.
  6. Mix the remaining 200 g (7 oz) yogurt with the beaten eggs and half of the Parmesan. Spoon the yogurt mixture over the aubergines, spreading with the back of the spoon to cover evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
  7. Bake for 40–45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and set, and the sauce is bubbling. Serve hot, in the baking dish.

Plus points

The normal gut flora can be upset by antibiotics, stress and poor diet. Including yogurt in the diet helps to maintain the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut and prevent the growth of less desirable bacteria. * Aubergines are a useful vegetable to include in dishes, because they add bulk and dietary fibre without adding calories – 100 g (3½ oz) contains just 15 kcal. * Flavonoids are compounds found in onions, which can help to protect against heart disease. Although they occur in both red and white onions, red onions have been shown to have higher levels of flavonoids.

Another idea

For a chicken, spinach and yogurt layered bake, cook 2 large sliced leeks in lightly boiling water for 4–5 minutes or until just tender. Drain and spread half over the bottom of a large ovenproof dish that is 1.7 litres (3 pints) capacity. Cut 300 g (10½ oz) cooked skinless boneless chicken breasts (fillets) into thick slices and arrange on top of the leeks. Set aside. Pack 450 g (1 lb) rinsed spinach into a large saucepan, cover and cook gently for 2–3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the spinach is wilted. Drain in a colander, but do not squeeze dry. Soften 2 finely chopped shallots in 15 g (½ oz) butter in the wiped-out saucepan. Add 1 crushed garlic clove and cook for a further minute. Stir in 170 g (6 oz) curd cheese, 3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk, 1 tsp wholegrain mustard, a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat gently, stirring, until smoothly blended, then stir in the spinach. Spoon the mixture over the chicken and spread the remaining leeks on top. Mix 150 g (5½ oz) plain low-fat yogurt with 15 g (½ oz) grated Gruyère cheese, 1 beaten egg, and seasoning to taste. Spoon over the leeks and sprinkle with a further 15 g (½ oz) grated Gruyère. Bake in a preheated 180ºC (350ºF, gas mark 4) oven for 35 minutes. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then serve with jacket baked potatoes.

Each serving provides

C, calcium * B1, B6, B12, folate, copper, potassium, zinc * B1, B2, E, niacin, iron, selenium

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