We've had really brilliant barbecue weather for the last couple of weeks (longer, really, but Paul faithfully didn't barbecue while I was away). Long, sunny evenings with hardly a breath of wind. Perfect. So the question arises, "what will we barbecue tonight?". The answer on this occasion was some lamb steak, and we did flatbreads in a pan on the fire.
But I didn't want the meat to be the main event. I wanted it to almost be a condiment, while bringing the "side dishes" - the vegetables - to centre stage. The previous night we'd done some pizzas, and after they were cooked the coals still had some oomph, so Paul said "Got anything else you want to stick on?". As it happened, I had a bag of little aubergines that I'd wanted to do something with. So they went on until the skins were charred and the flesh had collapsed.
I scraped the aubergine flesh out of the skins, and chopped it fairly finely. I mixed it with some spring onions, coriander and tomato, and gave it a bit of a sweet/sour zing with some mulberry molasses.
I made some pretty basic hummus bi tahini (chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin and salt - let down with a little hot water to the right scooping consistency).
I made a salad of cucumber and artichoke hearts and dressed it with garlic, lemon juice and the finely diced skin of a preserved lemon.
I piled it all on a platter, garnished the hummus with olive oil and a sprinkle of cayenne and we dug into it together.