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It has been a really busy, crazy week.

Every morning, this week, I have woken up at 4:00 am. I am not sure why. I would like to get at least one more hour of sleep before getting up. Five just seems so much more respectable than four in the morning.

After the disastrous work travel, I have been kicking myself into habit of going to the gym again. The aim is to go everyday until the coming Saturday.    

I have also kind of gone off meat and chicken (I go through phases where I don’t want to eat a particular thing). I am generally not a big fan of red meat. I am happy with steak once in a couple of months and a burger once in a while. And, now I am tired of eating chicken in salad and as main dish.

This has meant in me turning into an inspiring cook and incorporating as many vegetables as possible in the meals.  One of the easiest and most convenient things to eat is aubergine. It cooks really rich and creamy. You can eat it in all forms – grilled, roasted, baked and as part of a number of dishes.

My favourite (and the least time-consuming) form of eating aubergine is oven-roasted aubergine. I pretty much follow this recipe when I make it as it is so easy and convenient. I don’t use 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil. I just used one teaspoon of oil. The herb-spice mixture  included oregano (1 tsp), basil (1 tsp), black pepper (1/2 tsp) and pinch of salt. I just sprinkled lemon juice on top (complete recipe is at the end of the post)

I ate it as a side dish with leftover Courgette Cauliflower Cake Fritter, added it to my salad and had it as a snack. I also mashed it and used it as a spread in a sandwich. It is versatile and fun.

Recipe

Ingredients

2 lb. eggplant
pinch of salt
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp black pepper
Lemon wedges or a vinaigrette for serving (optional)

Method

Tip: Wipe the aubergine clean and slice them in half lengthwise. With the tip of a knife, score the flesh deeply in a diamond cross-hatch pattern by making two or three long cuts, cutting at a steep angle, and then rotating the aubergine to make another set of similar cuts. Press on the edges of the halves to open the cuts and sprinkle salt (1 to 1-1/2 tsp. total for all the halves) over the surface and into the cuts. Set aside, cut side up, for 30 min. Heat the oven to 400°F/210°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Over the sink, gently squeeze the aubergine to extract the salty juice and wipe them dry with a paper towel. Mix the herbs in the olive oil mixture. Brush each half thoroughly with olive oil and herb mixture. Arrange each half, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour. The aubergine will collapse and the bottoms will be a deep brown caramel color. Let cool considerably before handling, at least 20 min. Gently turn the cut side up. If serving as a side dish, serve with a lemon wedge for squeezing or drizzle with vinaigrette. If using in other recipes, scoop the flesh from the skin with a spoon.

Adapted from Fine Cooking. In the interest of full disclosure, I did not rewrite the whole method again and just included my changes in the method.