When I was living in Spain, I went through a phase of roasting everything in sight. I think it was probably the excitement of having an oven after 6 months in France sharing 4 hob tops between 30 people. Granted, the oven door was adorned with minion stickers and didn’t shut properly, and even the max setting was not much hotter than a sunny day in Dorset, but hey, I had an oven! So off I went, roasting here, roasting there, and I made some discoveries along the way that have made it into my regular rotation of dishes.
One of them being a Satay Style Roasted Aubergine. I’d seen quite a few people on Instagram raving about roasted aubergine (I know, my life is WILD), claiming it was a great centrepiece for veggie dishes. I was intrigued because to me, an aubergine had its place in a curry or a tagine, but I’d never really thought of it as strong enough to hold it’s own in a world obsessed with sweet potato chips and crispy kale. But low and behold, bung it in the oven and you’ve got a game changer.
Slow roasting an aubergine allows the skin to crisp up whilst the inside melts into a silky dream, going from bland and wooly to rich and earthy, which is why it lends itself so well to Middle Eastern dishes and it is also why I became a lil’ bit obsessed.
And then one day, I was coming to the end of a jar of peanut butter save for the last dregs (a situation I find myself in far too often) and I decided to go rogue. Instead of spreading it on toast, I decided to turn it into a something resembling a satay sauce. Long, really uninteresting and not-revolutionary-in-any-way-shape-or-form-story short, I plopped this sauce on my aubergine and voilà, Satay Style Aubergine was born.
What I love about this recipe is that it requires very little effort but still feels fairly gourmet. Because of its soft texture, it can almost act like a sauce or a spread, so it works well with rice, flatbreads or anything crunchy.
- 2 heaped teaspoons Peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons Sesame oil
- 3 teaspoons Tamari
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Pinch of chilli flakes
Preheat the oven to 180 degree fan.
Cut the aubergine in half. Make criss cross cuts in the flesh of the aubergine, trying not to pierce the skin on the other side. Drizzle some oil over both halves and give your veg a lil’ loving massage before sending it off to the oven to do it’s thang.
Roast the aubergine for about 40-50 minutes, until the criss crosses you made have opened up, the skin is starting to crisp up at the sides, and the flesh is nice and soft but still holding its shape.
Meanwhile make the sauce. Combine the peanut butter, sesame oil, tamari, lemon juice, crushed garlic and chilli flakes. When the aubergines come out of the oven, spread over the sauce liberally and evenly and put them back in the oven for around 15 minutes until the sauce has turned a deep golden brown colour.
Let the aubergines cool slightly, pop ‘em on your plate, and enjoy!