roasted aubergines with fried onions & feta

By 24. January 2013 From my kitchen
lately, i’ve been wondering about happiness… it’s such a fickle thing! why are we happy, and what causes us to be sad? is it the actual lack or absence of things in our life that gets us down? or is it just in our heads, and we get ourselves down successfully by thinking negative things? is it really that simple? 
at the moment i’m pretty tired of being strong and positive thinking… but still, this somehow never stops in life. we have to remain strong, so that our thoughts remain positive, so that we can be happy. am i confusing you like i’m confusing me? friends?
things i’m better at talking about: food. yotam ottolenghi. aubergines… this was another dish on our lavish christmas table (still dreaming about this particular one): roasted abuergines with fried onions (nicely caramelized… so not actually too onion-ey, if you know what i mean…), lots of lemon and feta. tangy, surprising and strangely decadent. maybe it’s the aubergine half that makes it a special treat?
roasted aubergines with fried onions & feta
2 large aubergines, halved lengthways with the stem on
150ml olive oil
salt and black pepper
4 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sumac
1½ green chillies, deseeded and chopped
50g feta, broken into large chunks
1 medium lemon (plus we used some of our home made preserved lemons, too)
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed


heat the oven to 200 c / 400 f. score a crisscross over the cut sides of the aubergines, brush with 100ml of oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. place cut side up on a baking tray and roast for 45 minutes, until golden-brown.

meanwhile, pour the remaining oil into a frying pan over high heat, add the onions and half a teaspoon of salt, and cook for eight minutes, stirring, until parts of the onion go dark and crisp. add the cumin, sumac and one chilli, cook for two minutes, then add the feta, cook for a minute, then turn off the heat. cut the skin and pith off the lemon. chop the flesh, discard the seeds, and put in a bowl with any juices, the remaining chilli and the garlic. the moment the aubergines are done, spoon the lemony sauce over the flesh side. warm up the onions, spoon on top and serve warm or at room temperature (we did serve it at room temperature, and it was marvellous… even on the next day).

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