I know it only takes a couple of days of sunshine and we want to light the barbecue and I know it's still only March but I have definitely noticed that the tomatoes and aubergines in the shops have started to look more plump, shiny and yes, summery.
I love aubergines but Robert doesn't. Not even in a curry. In fact I don't know a single man who doesn't really dislike aubergines except maybe my brother who wasn't given any choice. Perhaps I am wrong?
Melanzane al Forno
This is one of my favourite dishes of all time but I hardly ever make it because Robert won't eat it. It takes quite a lot of chopping and is not worth doing for just one aubergine so you need to really want it to go to the bother.
2 large, plump, shiny aubergines
1 thick slice of white bread, whizzed into crumbs
lots of chopped parsley
big handful of finely grated Parmesan
2 crushed garlic cloves
3 ripe tomatoes
1 egg, beaten
large pinch dried oregano
Preheat the oven to 200 / Gas 4. Halve the aubergines lengthways and scoop out the flesh with a tablespoon. Chop it finely and mix with the breadcrumbs, parsley, Parmesan and garlic. Finely chop one of the tomatoes and to the bowl along with the beaten egg and some seasoning.
Pile the mixture back into aubergine halves. Thinly slice the other two tomatoes and overlap on top. Season and sprinkle with oregano then bake for 40 - 45 minutes until nicely browned.