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Berwick, North Northumberland: Food-Travel-Culture-Community

We’re fools for Meera’s aubergine

The kind of dish that makes me think being a vegetarian might be possible

The Husband

Praise indeed for Meera Sodha’s fabulously easy walnut-stuffed aubergines. A super vegan supper dish from Guardian Feast Issue No.175. Couple it with Felicity Cloake’s masterclass fruit fool from the following week’s Issue No.176 and you’ve practically got a party on your hands!

First the aubergine. I was relieved to read that Meera doesn’t advocate salting aubergine. Personally, I don’t find salting removes any ‘bitterness’ but does give you salty aubergine. I was also comforted to learn that aubergine doesn’t need ‘drenching in oil to cook’. As with mushrooms and other oil guzzlers, it’s always tempting to go over the top with oil and end up with something bordering on greasy rather than unctuous.

With the cumin, cinnamon, paprika and walnuts, there’s something of a Lebanese riff with this dish. And Meera says she’s loosely based the stuffing around the Levantine dip muhammara.

We served our aubergine and its perfect blend of textures and balance of flavours with asparagus and Meera’s suggested salad. It was wonderful.

With no children in our household currently, the cooking with kids special was a bit of a challenge. But hurrah for Felicity Cloake and her masterclass fruit fool. We have a glorious crop of rhubarb in the garden and are total fool addicts. I was delighted to follow Felicity’s instructions which totally mirror my own approach to fools.

Straining the rhubarb to create a pot of bright, clear pinkness to pour over your fool is almost my favourite element. However, the addition of orange zest, syrup from stem ginger and garnish of chopped stem ginger turns this pinkly happy summery pud into a more grown-up treat.

Cheers to children’s week in Guardian Feast – particularly when there are no children around to snaffle all the fruit fools! And we could easily have made this meal totally vegan, by replacing the cream I used with a vegan alternative.

Original recipes

Meera Sodha – walnut-stuffed aubergines

Felicity Cloake – masterclass fruit fool

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