Tomato and Aubergine Bake
This is a lovely summer supper for one or two people. It started as a last-day-before-the-grocery-shop dish, but now I do it regularly, sometimes with a simple tomato sauce on the side, sometimes just as it is. It also works well as a side dish.
1 aubergine, sliced about the thickness of a two Euro coin
2 large tomatoes or 1 beef tomato, sliced about 5mm thick.
50g plain flour
50g salted butter
1 pint of milk
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 pinch of ground nutmeg
2 sprigs of basil, leaves picked and roughly chopped or torn
1 tbsp grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to season
Place the milk, garlic, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt and pepper into a saucepan and gently heat. As soon as the surface begins to ripple remove from the heat.
This is an optional stage, purely for aesthetics and will make little difference to the taste of the dish. Whilst the milk is warming, heat a griddle pan to very hot. Char the slices of aubergine for one minute each side, or until there are griddle lines on them.
Melt the butter in a second saucepan until it begins to foam. Add the flour and whisk to form a roux. Keep cooking the roux for two minutes, stirring occasionally.
Using a sieve, pour the milk onto the roux in three or four stages, whisking to thoroughly combine before pouring more in.
Layer enough aubergine slices to line a suitably sized pie tin. Next layer on some tomato, sprinkle on some basil and finally spoon on enough white sauce to cover. Repeat this process until you have used all the aubergine and tomato. Spoon over a little more white sauce and sprinkle over a little grated Parmesan.
Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated oven 180/200C or until the sauce is bubbling, the top is golden and the bake is piping hot.