Sprinkle both sides of the aubergine slices with salt, place them in a colander and set aside to drain for 30 minutes.
To make the sauce, put all the ingredients in a food processor, or use a hand-held mixer, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Heat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7) and heat a ridged, iron griddle or heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Rinse the aubergine slices and dry them with kitchen paper. Dry-fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side until they have softened and browned.
Arrange half the aubergine slices in a single layer in a 25 × 20 cm (10 × 8 in) ovenproof dish and cover them with 2 tablespoons of the sauce, spreading it out evenly. Layer all the apple slices on top and cover with another 2 tablespoons of sauce. Top with the remaining aubergines and smooth the remaining sauce over the top. Bake for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the dish with the herbs. It tastes equally good served hot or at room temperature. Serve as a vegetarian main course with red or brown rice, or as a side dish to grilled pork.
This was delicious - I covered the dish with foil after 20 minutes to prevent further browning - and cooked for a further 20. I like my veg well cooked! I used tinned chopped tomatoes and didn't bother with a blender. I served with sausages and roasted onions.
25 Apr 2012