I have been busy stitching my two little cactus hoops ready for the September (September!??! How can this be?) issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine. They’re mounted in 4″ hoops and each cactus has the same colour palette to ensure they work well as a pair,and though the pots are stitched in different colours they all work well together. One cactus is embroidered on coral, and the other on a lovely dusky purple (aubergine/eggplant) background…..
I hope you like them! And, thinking of aubergine (or eggplant of course!), if you are a reader of the Bustle & Sew Magazine, you will know that as well as stitching, we like to include all kinds of things that we love about life here in the English countryside. Both Rosie and I love to cook and bake, and whilst she contributes our recipe section, I add a few notes about some ingredients currently in season. In September there’s almost an embarrassment of seasonal produce, but I’m planning a paragraph or two about the aubergine…
I love aubergines, and one of my favourite recipes is for Imam Bayildi (translates as the Sultan or priest fainted), which I first tasted on a long-ago holiday in Kalkan in southern Turkey. I make it quite regularly and thought you might enjoy it too….
Pre-heat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas6
- Take six aubergines and partially peel them in alternate vertical stripes from stem to base, leaving the stalk intact. In each aubergine cut a deep slit lengthways, without cutting through to the skin on the opposite side, and leaving half an inch uncut at either end. Put the aubergines in a bowl of salted water for about 30 minutes, using a plate as a weight to hold them under the surface.
- Heat some olive oil and saute 3 medium onions, finely chopped, until translucent. Transfer them to a bowl with a slotted spoon and add 3 tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped, 8 cloves of garlic, finely sliced, salt and sugar to taste, juice of one lemon and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley.
- Drain the aubergines and squeeze dry using absorbent kitchen paper. Heat more olive oil, add the aubergines and lightly brown on either side. Place them side by side in a well-oiled oven dish. Spoon the tomato and onion filling into the slits of the aubergines and pour any surplus over them. Mix a little more sugar and salt together with 2 tablespoons of hot water and pour this over the aubergines. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes or until the aubergines are tender.
- Set aside to cool. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with more chopped parsley. Serves 6.