It is nothing other than a deep felt pleasure to put away the casserole pots, baking trays and oven gloves after what has been an unseasonably long Winter. I know, of course, how excited we were when Autumn kicked in to pull out jars of pulses and spices from our cupboards, and how we treasured each thick, slow-cooked stew as the nights lengthened and darkened all those months ago. Now of course, the sun’s come creeping its way back round our corner of the globe and save for the thicket of volcanic ash currently wending its way over Europe, it looks as if clear skies and bluey nights might just be here to stay.
This, for me, marks the exciting change in what we eat and the reintroduction of all things fresh and easy. I’m relieved and excited, despite my love of a simmering pot on the hob, to have friends round for supper for whom I can put together a few typical Salad Club salads, cut some good bread and pour too much wine. Last night was one of those nights in which a salad of beetroot, goats’ cheese, horseradish and dill accompanied french beans, kalamata olives, anchovies and capers in lemon and olive oil with thick, floury bread from A&C Continental deli, a bowl of strained, salted lebneh yoghurt and this, a creamy and filling roasted aubergine dip. The kind of meal that whichever colour wine your friends bring, matches. The kind of kitchen supper Salad Club loves and which marks, in a fittingly understated way, a one year anniversary of this blog. For the next few weeks as we ease into another season, I hope we can bring you some more of our ideas and recipes from which this blog takes its name. Thanks for following and Happy 1st Birthday to Salad Club!
Roasted aubergine and sesame dip
Prick and roast 3 whole aubergines in an oven heated to 190ºC until wrinkled and blackened, about 40 minutes. When cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a colander and let the watery juices drain away. Add the flesh to a bowl, mash with a fork and squeeze in the juice of a lemon. Add 3 generous tablespoons of tahini paste, a glug of grassy olive oil and 3 crushed cloves of garlic. Combine well and taste and season. Gently toast a handful of sesame seeds and nigella seeds until aromatic and golden in a dry pan or griddle and sprinkle over the dip with a pinch of cayenne pepper and a handful of fresh cut coriander. Mop up with large hunks of bread and get on with your evening!