Aberdeen welcomes Si King, one half of celebrity chef duo The Hairy Bikers, to P&J Live on Saturday for Taste of Grampian.
Si will cook up a storm on stage as he fronts his own cookery demo, and shows his face at a number of other events.
Tickets are still available, but if you want some pre-show insight into Si’s culinary expertise, then try your hand at his aubergine parmigiana.
And don’t worry if it sounds too rich. Si is on a health kick these days, and this recipe comes straight from new book The Hairy Dieters’ Simple Healthy Food.
As the title suggests, it contains a range of easy-to-make recipes that are good for the soul and body.
“This Italian classic is a great favourite of ours, but it’s usually super-high in calories because aubergines soak up such a huge amount of oil,” Si says.
“In this lighter version, we bake the aubergine slices instead of frying and the result is just as delicious but uses much less oil. A beautifully satisfying, comforting dish, so dive in and enjoy.”
The Hairy Bikers’ aubergine parmigiana
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 aubergines, sliced into ½–1 cm rounds a few fresh rosemary and oregano sprigs
- sea salt and black pepper
For the sauce
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- generous pinch of cinnamon
- 400g can of tomatoes
- 100ml red wine
- To assemble
- small bunch of basil leaves
- 2 balls of mozzarella, well drained and torn
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Mix the olive oil with a tablespoon of water. Place the aubergine slices on 2 or 3 baking trays lined with baking parchment. Brush the slices sparingly with the olive oil and water mix, then season with salt and pepper. Roughly break up the sprigs of herbs and sprinkle them over the aubergines.
Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes until the slices are squidgy in the middle and nicely browned. Discard the herbs.
- While the aubergines are baking, make the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Add a splash of water and sauté the onion gently until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another 2 or 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the oregano and cinnamon, then pour the tomatoes and red wine into the pan. Rinse out the can with 100ml of water and add this too. Season with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to simmer until the sauce is well reduced.
- To assemble, spread a spoonful of the sauce over the base of an
ovenproof dish. Add a layer of aubergines and a couple of torn basil
leaves. Continue until you have used up all the aubergines and sauce,
pressing down well in between each layer.
- Add more basil and dot with the torn-up mozzarella. Bake in the oven
for 25–30 minutes until well browned and bubbling.
Taste of Grampian to return
Taste of Grampian – which will be held on June 4 – is designed to be a fun day out for all of the family. Attendees can look forward to celebrity chef demos, masterclasses from local chefs, wine and gin tastings, workshops and more.
This will be the first time the festival will take place at P&J Live, moving from Thainstone Exchange and The Mart in Inverurie.
Ticket prices start from £12 for general admission and children under the age of 12 go free.
The Hairy Dieters’ Simple Healthy Food by Si King and Dave Myers is published by Seven Dials in trade paperback at £16.99 and ebook at £8.99, out now.