You have to take your hat off to Ralph Ferrett. A self-confessed ‘voracious carnivore’, he is going vegetarian for the whole of September. It’s a noble effort, and one that I could not echo, but it has at least inspired me to eat less meat, for the sake of the environment, my health, and my wallet.
Aubergine is a meaty fella, however, and makes a stunning substitute for a hunk of flesh. If you don’t have the time to make goat’s curd then just use goat’s yoghurt, or indeed normal yoghurt. I happened to have some leftover, and wouldn’t ordinarily wait 24 hours to cook Sunday lunch.
A medium aubergine
200ml goat’s yoghurt
A red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
A few parsley leaves
Half a lemon
Salt and pepper
I fully realise that you probably won’t bother to make goat’s curd for what is otherwise a very quick and simple dish, but just in case you want to know how (it’s very easy)…
– Make the goat’s curd putting a sieve over a bowl and lining the sieve with muslin cloth or a clean J cloth. Tip in the goat’s yoghurt, add a pinch of salt, and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. You’re aiming to drain the whey, leaving you with thick, rich curd.
– Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut the aubergine in half down the middle and score to flesh in criss-crosses. Season with salt and pepper and a little olive oil and stick in the oven for 45 minutes.
– Remove from the oven and top with a good thuck of goat’s curd, chopped chilli and a few parsley leaves. Serve immediately with a drizzle of oil and a squeeze of lemon.