Esclavida: Slow Roasted Peppers, Aubergines & Tomatoes with a Basil & Almond Dressing

So it seems we’ve finally turned a seasonal corner! I spotted this recipe fairly recently and thought it was going to be months before anything was affordable enough to use here, but thankfully there have been a few improvements (in weather and prices). This recipe (and image) is from the Green Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer. She says ‘this will serve 2 generously, as that’s what will fit into a standard roasting tin, but you can easily double this up as part of a veggie feast’.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
2 whole aubergines, pricked all over with a fork
3 red pointy peppers
6 large vine tomatoes
1 red onion
A handful of thyme sprigs
4 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
50g whole almonds (blanched is fine)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
25g fresh basil roughly torn or chopped

To Serve
Good crusty bread or pearl barley
(For the barley you can either simmer 300g in plenty of salted boiling water for 60 mins or pop 300g with 700ml stock in a roasting tin or casserole dish, cover tightly with foil or a lid then pop in the oven at 180oC Fan for 55min)


Preheat the oven to 180oC Fan/200oC/Gas 6. Tip the whole aubergines, red peppers, vine tomatoes, onion, thyme, olive oil and 1 tsp salt into a large roasting tin, then use your hands to coat everything really well in the oil and salt.

Transfer to the oven and roast for 1 hour, chucking the almonds in for the last 10 minutes to toast

Remove the tin from the oven-the veg should be charred all over and very soft when prodded. Rescue the garlic, and leave the rest of the veg to sit while you whisk up the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and the other tsp of seas salt together with the squeezed-out and mashed roasted garlic. Using a knife and fork, remove the inedible tops and stems, then roughly tear the softened vegetables apart.

Scatter over the basil and the dressing, then mix really well together. Serve warm, with good crusty bread or pearl barley.