What’s On My Table – With Alexandra Dudley

Alexandra Dudley is a food columnist, cookbook author and host of the Come For Supper podcast. In this new monthly column, she takes us inside her east London kitchen to show us what she’s cooking and the tools she’s loving. This month, it’s her favourite aubergine dish – plus three of her top homeware hits…

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Miso aubergine is exactly the sort of food I crave in January. Something comforting and warm but with a bit of bounce and zing. This dish is a satisfying way to add a bit of meatiness to a meal, especially if you’re doing Veganuary. Don’t skimp on the ginger and garlic as they really bring these greens to life. I’ve served it with rice, but you could have it with noodles if you like. 

 

When it comes to drinks, I’ve been having a damp, dry-ish January and have been thoroughly enjoying Babylonstoren’s Bitterlekker. Coincidentally, Babylonstoren makes one of my favourite rosés, but this is a non-alcoholic aperitif made using honeybush tea, blood orange and rosemary. It is delicious and pairs well with punchy flavour-rich dishes like this.

Miso-Glazed Aubergine Rice Bowl With Garlicky Greens & Cashews

Serves
2-4
Total Time
35 Minutes
Ingredients
For the aubergine:
2 small-medium aubergines
2 tbsp of brown rice miso paste (I like Miso Tasty and Clearspring)
2 tbsp of runny honey
3 tbsp of toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp of mirin (or ½ tbsp of more honey if you can’t get hold of it)
For the greens:
1 tbsp of vegetable or neutral oil
1 tbsp of toasted sesame oil
60g of shitake mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely grated
4 heads of pak choi
1 tsp of tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp of rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
To serve:
Toasted sesame seeds
Toasted cashews, roughly chopped
Spring onions, roughly chopped
Jasmine rice, 80g per person is best
Method
Step 1
Preheat your oven to 200°C degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment or foil.
Step 2
Slice the aubergines in half lengthways and score them criss-cross with a sharp knife (go about a third deep).
Step 3
Place the aubergines onto the tray and bake for about 30 minutes until they are browned in areas and cooked through. They should be squidgy to touch when you squeeze them.
Step 4
In a small bowl whisk together the miso paste, honey, toasted sesame oil and mirin with a fork to a smooth paste.
Step 5
When the aubergines have cooked remove them from the oven and spoon over the miso glaze. Return to the oven for 10 minutes.
Step 6
Whilst the aubergine cooks, cook your rice (according to packet instructions) and cook your greens.
Step 7
Chop the base of the pak choi. Separate the leaves and stalk. Chop stalk into roughly inch sized pieces and halve the leaves widthways.
Step 8
Heat the oils in a pan. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and browned.
Step 9
Add the grated ginger and garlic and cook for one minute. Then add the pak choi and cook until the leaves have wilted.
Step 10
Add the tamari/soy sauce and the rice wine vinegar and stir to combine.
Step 11
To serve, tip the rice into bowls. Top with pak choi, the miso aubergine, toasted sesame seeds, chopped spring onions, sliced red chilli and chopped roasted cashews.

What’s On My Table

French Turquoise Handblown Coloured Glass Tumblers, £42

Glassware can make all the difference when it comes time to set the table, and these French turquoise hand-blown glasses from Polkra are my new favourites. Even with the simplest of crockery, these glasses add a pop of colour that instantly elevates the mood.

Visit Polkra.com

Naturally Dyed Avocado Stone Placemats & Napkins, £58.20

These natural, hand-dyed, Irish linen placemats are from Ved Cooks, a brand I discovered during lockdown. I love how each piece is made unique through the natural dying process. It’s a wonderful conversation starter at dinner parties, asking guests to guess how the placemats and napkins gained their fabulous colour. Few would guess it comes from avocado stones.

Visit VedCooks.com

Sorano China Soup Bowl, £15

I love these off-white bowls from Oka. They’re perfect for adding an elegant touch to a midweek meal, and I use them for everything from porridge and yogurt to curries and pastas. They are dishwasher safe, so you don’t need to be too precious with them.

Visit Oka.com

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