I’ve given this dish its French name as it is infinitely more beautiful than the more prosaic English, which would be something like “Layered Aubergines”. Back in my late teens I used to cook a similar dish for my mother’s dinner parties but then, I made individual little charlottes in dariole moulds. If you had the inclination you could do the same but I think you wouldn’t need as much Boursin mixture. I prefer to eat this cold –or at least at room temperature, with a green salad and lots of good bread.
- 4 aubergines, about 1.2kg cut into 5mm thick slices
- 2 x 400g tin tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato purée
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 teaspoons caster sugar
- 2 x 150g packs Boursin
- 125g greek yogurt
- Heat the oven to fan 180°c, mark 6. Layer up the aubergine slices in a colander and sprinkle each layer with about a quarter teaspoon salt. Leave for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, you can make the tomato sauce. Put the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, garlic, one tablespoon olive oil, the rosemary, bay leaves and caster sugar in a large saucepan (it needs to be large as the sauce sputters as it thickens). Bring to the boil then turn the heat down and simmer the sauce for about one hour or until the sauce is thick and virtually no runny juice remains. Remove the rosemary and bay leaves and leave to cool. When it has cooled down to room temperature blend the sauce with a stick blender or bullet blender until smooth. Set aside.
- Brush any salt off the aubergines and pat dry with kitchen paper. Arrange the aubergine slices on two large baking sheets lined with non-stick parchment. Brush each slice with most of the remaining olive oil ( you will need some oil to brush the slices when you turn them over). Cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until lightly golden. Turn the slices over and brush with a little more oil. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool.
- Mix the Boursin with the yogurt until smooth. To assemble the charlotte, place a disk of parchment in the base of a 1.1 litre soufflé dish. Arrange half the aubergines in overlapping slices up the side of the dish and over the base. Spread half the Boursin mix over the base and top with about 5-6 tablespoons of the tomato sauce (the rest is served with the finished charlotte). Spread to the edges then cover with a layer of aubergines. Spread the remaining Boursin mix over the aubergines and cover with remaining slices of aubergine. Cover the dish with foil.
- Place the soufflé dish in a roasting tin and pour in enough boiling water to come 2cm up the side of the dish. Bake in the oven for one hour. Lift out of the roasting tin and leave to cool for 30 minutes at least.
- To serve, put a large serving plate on top of the soufflé dish then turn it over and lift off the dish. Either drizzle with the leftover tomato sauce or serve on the side.