Coal-roasted aubergine with red miso butter and toasted cashews
Prep 5 min
Marinate 8 hr+
Cook 10 min
15g salted cashew nuts
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp balsamic reduction or glaze, or pomegranate molasses
½ spring onion, finely chopped
For the red miso butter
150g butter, softened
50g red miso paste
15ml mirin (or, failing that, 15g caster sugar)
20g gochujang (widely available from the world food aisle at large supermarkets)
5ml rice vinegar
For the marinade
25g minced garlic
20g grated fresh ginger
25ml dark soy sauce
50ml light soy sauce
100g runny honey
In a bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients and set to one side.
Barbecue the aubergine directly over burning coals for five minutes, then rotate it 180 degrees and cook for five minutes more. Once the aubergine is soft to the touch all over, transfer to a board and leave to cool – avoid fiddling with it, or you’ll damage the skin and/or make the flesh go all mushy.
Once the aubergine is cool, peel off and discard the skin, then put the whole peeled aubergine into the marinade and leave to soak for at least four hours, and ideally for eight hours or overnight. (While it’s marinating, the aubergine will release juices into the saline marinade, which is important. If you prefer a less punchy marinade, loosen it with 125ml or so of water first.)
In a bowl, combine the softened butter with the miso, mirin, gochujang and rice vinegar.
On a low heat, toast the cashews in a pan with the tablespoon of butter until golden brown, then tip out on to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain.
Now to finish off. Lift the aubergine from its marinade, put it in a roasting tin, then spread liberally with the miso butter. Barbecue with the lid down – or roast in a 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 oven – for 10 minutes, until hot all the way through, then transfer to a plate. Crumble over the feta, top with the toasted cashews, balsamic reduction and spring onion, and serve.
Grilled peach with stracciatella
Prep 5 min
Macerate 1 hr
Cook 10 min
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
½ tbsp runny honey
1 sprig marjoram, or thyme
100g stracciatell di bufala, or burrata
To serve (optional)
¼ red chilli, frozen solid, then shaved
Lime zest, to finish
Stone the peach, then cut it into eight even wedges. Put the fruit in a bowl with the oil, honey, marjoram and a pinch of sea salt, and leave to macerate for an hour – once seasoned, the peach wedges will release their juices, and you’ll use those for the dressing later.
Lift the peach wedges out of the bowl and barbecue over roasting hot coals for three to four minutes on each side, just until they take on some colour, then return them to the bowl and toss gently in the liquor.
Plate the peaches, tear the cheese over the top of the fruit, then drizzle with good olive oil and sea salt. Pour over the liquor from the bowl, top with the shaved frozen chilli and/or a pinch of lime zest, if using, then serve.
Tomatoes with lardo and feta
Prep 10 min
Cook 30 min
50ml olive oil, plus extra for the bread
200 small ripe sweet tomatoes, ideally datterini
3 garlic cloves, 2 peeled and crushed, the other left whole
1 sprig thyme
2 slices sourdough
2 slices lardo, or parma ham (optional)
20g feta, ideally an aged one (optional)
1 tbsp balsamic reduction or glaze (optional)
Heat the oil in a pan over a medium-low heat (if you’re doing this over coals, do so in the coolest part of the barbecue) and, once hot, add the tomatoes, crushed garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt, and leave to
cook slowly – you want the tomatoes to blister and their juices to caramelise gently. (For extra smokiness, put a tiny piece of charcoal in the oil while it’s heating up, but tread carefully – take it out after a minute or two max, otherwise the smoky element will get too intense.)
Meanwhile, drizzle both sides of the bread with olive oil, then grill over the coals, turning regularly, until nicely browned and slightly charred at the edges. Remove from the heat, rub one side of each slice with the peeled garlic clove (the bread will act like a grater), then lay it garlic side up on a plate. Spoon the tomatoes over the bread, including the pan juices, then season with salt. Drape a slice of lardo or ham over each slice, crumble the feta on top, drizzle over the balsamic reduction, if using, and serve.