“I’ve met quite a few people who don’t love aubergine, and I can honestly say most of the time it’s because of the way it’s cooked. That rubbery, dry, slightly squeaky texture is pretty off-putting, but that’s purely because it hasn’t been cooked for long enough. Aubergines are a beautiful thing, and when given the right care they are stunning. Take this recipe, for example – I treat the aubergines like a piece of meat, slashing them, marinating them and slow-roasting them whole. The result is a deliciously creamy and fragrant dish that takes little effort to make. The other bonus is that you don’t use much oil, as you cook the aubergines whole, so it’s light too. ”
Peel the ginger and garlic, and finely slice the chillies. Pierce the aubergines all over with a paring knife, as if you were making incisions into a piece of meat.
Grate the ginger into a large mortar and pestle, and bash together with the garlic, chillies and a good pinch of salt until you have a thick paste. Mix in just enough oil to make it spoonable, then spoon the mixture over the aubergines and massage it into the incisions, really getting the flavours inside.
Place the aubergines in a large roasting tray, dot the cherry tomatoes around, and pop into the oven for 40 minutes, turning a couple of times.
While the aubergines are cooking, trim and finely slice the spring onions and roughly chop the coriander, stalks and all. Put into a bowl, squeeze over the lime juice to coat and mix all together. Leave to one side.
Mix together the tamarind, honey and miso and add enough water to make a thick glaze. Remove the roasting tray from the oven after 40 minutes, turn the oven up to 200°C/gas 6, and drizzle the miso glaze over the aubergines. Pop back into the oven for a further 15 minutes, to caramelise, then remove and leave to cool a little.
Working carefully, remove the stalks from the aubergines and discard them, then roughly chop the flesh in the tray into coarse chunks. Stir in the dressed spring onions and coriander and serve right away.