1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil (I probably use less, there’s always too much oil in recipes)
1 small aubergine
350g/12 oz courgettes (I probably use more, I like courgettes)
150 ml/1/4 pint vegetable stock (I use Marigold powder, unless I happen to have made some)
1 can chick peas
150 ml/1/4 pint double cream (crème frâiche would be fine)
2 tablespoons pesto (whatevs, put in what you like. You’d want that much fresh pesto, but commercial jars vary so it’s best to keep tasting)
Slice the onion into thin rings, cook gently in a tablespoonful of olive oil for about five minutes, then turn the heat up a bit and allow it to colour a little – about another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, crush the garlic, dice the aubergine into 1 inch cubes and thinly slice the courgettes. Add the rest of the oil and the prepared vegetables to the onion, cook, stirring, for five minutes, add the stock, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Drain and rinse the chick peas, add to the pan, stir in the cream and pesto and add, with seasoning. Cook for a few more minutes to heat through.
The recipe suggests spreading slices of baguette with garlic butter, topping with goat’s cheese and putting on top of the courgette mixture, then grilling. I’ve never done this, though I have put some cubes of feta or goat’s cheese on top to melt in to my plateful if I’ve had this as a main course.
I often do the first part of the recipe earlier, then add the cream and pesto and reheat at the last. The previous time I cooked it, Tim was out of aubergines, so I used sliced mushrooms instead which was fine.
The recipe is from ‘Simply Good Food’ by Katie Stewart and Caroline Young, who used to live in the village. She and her husband Stuart were great friends of ours, but after he died she moved to Sussex and we’ve lost touch.
Elle sent me a text soon after 8 o’clock to say they’d arrived in Berlin. We parted with warm hugs and promises to visit each other. It’s very quiet here tonight, but luckily I’ve got quite a lot on this week – not much of it work-related – so I’ll keep busy and not be lonely.