almond_aubergine_2

This dish saw daylight purely by accident. During one of my cooking marathons from the combined SCD and FODMAP days, I forgot to add pre-salted aubergine slices to a vegetable roast. To avoid wasting them, I came up with an impromptu idea of tossing them in almond meal and roasting. I was foolishly expecting these to turn out crispy – a texture achievable by deep frying rather than by a quick stint in the oven – but what I got was much, much better. The aubergine slices baked to a soft, melt-in-the-mouth consistency with just a hint of bitterness from the peel surrounded by a light, smooth flavour of the almonds. In addition to being low FODMAP, this dish is also SCD-legal, vegan, gluten and dairy free. And wait for the drum roll… I dare say, this tastes better at room temperature than hot! Thus, since it looks somewhat hoity-toity when piled on a plate (somewhere between disgusting and elegantly careless, going by my scale), it makes a great low FODMAP appetiser or side dish for formal catered events when you need to bring your own food. In fact, I brought this little delight to a very formal wedding and didn’t feel out of place (quite unlike the moment when I pulled out the rice cakes and jam). Hmm… shall I start a series of BYOLFF recipes?

Almond Aubergine Melt

(yield: 6 portions, preparation time: 30 min, total time: 1.5 hours, difficulty: medium)

  • 2 cups aubergine, sliced into pieces approximately 1 inch x 1 inch x 1/4 inch, peel left on
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt (adjust to preference)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil + 1 teaspoon to coat the roasting pan

Once you have sliced the aubergine, toss is with half of the salt, spread in a single layer and leave to sweat out the bitter juice. Rinse the slices, squeeze out the water out and coat them in olive oil. Mix the aubergine with almond meal, pepper and the remaining salt and throw into a pre-oiled deep baking dish (e.g. loaf pan). Bake at 370 degrees for 35 minutes, or until the slices become soft and fall apart when squeezed. Serve hot or at room temperature, with fresh basil or parsley leaves as optional decoration.

almond_aubergine

 

OK, so I am aware this is not beautiful at first glance, but I really do not care. It tastes divine. For amateurs of strong sensations, addition of a pinch of chilli or a sprinkling of rosemary may be in order; for me, the mild, creamy flavour works best.

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When your love for onion rings, whipped cream latté and apple pie has to surrender in the face of a gastrointestinal war... when the world becomes a bleak place, full of chicken soup and carrots... do not despair! There's more than one sweet fish in the sea, and your culinary adventures have only just begun. I hereby present you Squashablanca, the land of plenty for people following a low-sugar version of the low FODMAP diet. Enjoy your food!

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