A pinch of fresh chilli or chilli powder, to taste
Fresh thyme or rosemary leaves, chopped
1 aubergine, sliced into thin rounds
½ lemon, juice only
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3-4 handfuls grated Ranscombe (see below) cheese, or simply your favourite cheese*
Preheat your oven to 200C/Gas 6.
Add a splash of oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and bay. Cook till softened. Add tomatoes. Cook till thickened. Add wine and/or balsamic vinegar. Let it reduce. Add a hint of chilli and thyme. Cook for a bit.
Squeeze a little lemon over the aubergine. Season well.
Gloss a large frying pan with olive oil. Over high heat, fry the aubergine in one layer in batches, till golden on each side. Add more oil as needed.
Taste your sauce. Season as needed.
In baking dishes, layer aubergine, then sauce, then cheese. Repeat till everything’s used up. Top with cheese and breadcrumbs.
Bake 10-15 mins or till golden on top.
Just leave the cheese out, or swap for scatterings of roughly chopped walnuts – even better.
Cheese of the week - Mootown
Ranscombe - A delicious unpasteruised Goats’ semi-hard goats milk cheese made in the Cothi Valley, West Wales by Lyn and Richard Beard.
This wonderful parmesan like, has a distinctly nutty flavour and is a great addition to the cheese board as well as great in cooking or simply as a flavourful grating cheese. It works particularly well with warm salads, pasta and soups as well as sliced in a hearty sandwich with roasted red pepper ribbons.