Test kitchen: Normy's aubergine and tofu fry up

For as long as I can remember, aubergines have always been my mum's favourite. I never really used to eat aubergines, as I always got an annoying allergic reaction to them. Lately, however, I've been exposing myself to it a little bit more and I'm quite enjoying it! I've done my research, and aubergines, or eggplants as they're known in other regions, are actually fruits but commonly used as vegetables. I've noticed that it's quite versatile as it doesn't really have a strong flavour, can easily be mixed in with a lot of other vegetables/meats, and has great texture! Aubergines have recently been my go-to veg when I want to eat something meaty without eating meat.

Tofu has always been a staple in our home, and I've always loved it in both forms: silken and firm. However, I am particularly fond of deep-fried tofu as this is something that always reminds me of home (see: Tokwa't Baboy, a very popular Filipino starter).

The other day, I was a little bit lazy and didn't really want to make a mess in the kitchen. I realised that I had aubergine and tofu in the fridge, and the first thought that came to mind was: mum's favourite things! I quickly thought of a way to put these two together, the easiest being that of a quick fry up. I'm still in the process of perfecting this recipe, because I think I've come up with something quite good, but it definitely still needs some tweaking. Consider that a fair warning!

Slightly charred aubergines, and crisp tofu. Yum

Slightly charred aubergines, and crisp tofu. Yum

Normy's aubergine and tofu fry up (serves one hungry academic)
1/2 aubergine, sliced 1in thick - £0.40p
250g tofu, sliced 1in thick - £0.95p
extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp creamy pesto, recipe here; or: 2-3 tbsp bottled pesto - approx £0.21p

Total cost: approx £2 (!!!)

Put the pan on high heat, and add a good glug of olive oil. Remember that extra virgin olive oil has quite a low smoke point, so this shouldn't take long! Put the sliced tofu and aubergine in the pan, and reduce to a medium heat. Cook for around 6 minutes each side, turning twice. Grab a nice big plate, spread the pesto on it, and layer the aubergine alternately with the tofu. Crack some fresh pepper on top and you're good to go!

My mind is seriously going wild trying to think of what else to add to make this dish more complex and adventurous - I'm thinking shredded pickled lemon, if not lemon zest and chillies! I'll be sure to re-do this recipe once I'm completely happy with it, but please have a go yourself and let me know how you get on :-)

Hungry for more,
The Academicook