Aubergine and Courgettes with Rosemary and Fennel Seeds
These aromatic fried vine veg are delicious as part of a summer tapas spread. You can prepare this dish well in advance and keep it in the fridge, but bring it to room temperature before serving.
1 medium-large aubergine (about 300g)
2 medium courgettes (about 300g in total)
2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tsp fennel seeds
A squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Trim the ends off the aubergine and courgettes then cut into roughly 2cm cubes.
Heat the olive or rapeseed oil in a large, non-stick frying pan (ideally about 30cm in diameter) over a medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the cubed aubergine and courgettes with some salt and pepper and fry hard for 8–10 minutes. You need to drive off any water released by the veg, so keep the heat quite high. You also want them to take on some good, golden brown colour so don’t move them around too often – give them a chance to brown.
Meanwhile, using a pestle and mortar, pound the rosemary, chilli flakes and fennel seeds, to help release the flavour of the rosemary and break up the spices a bit.
When the veg are cooked, take the pan off the heat. Add the fennel and rosemary mix and stir well, then leave to cool completely.
When cold, stir in a good squeeze of lemon juice and the extra virgin olive oil. Taste and add more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice if needed, and it's ready to serve.