The Margaret Fulton cookbook, 314pp.
by Margaret Fulton
Hardie Grant Books, Victoria, 2004
Cooking on page 132
Margaret Fulton is the matriarch of Australia cooking, and was the first to start producing cookbooks here.
She and her initial book, published in 1968, are credited with changing the way Australians cooked, ate and entertained. In fact in 2009, a Sydney Morning Herald panel named her as one of the 25 Australians who had most changed the nation.
From the beginning, her recipes were easy-to-follow and varied, and she urged homemakers to cook beyond a meal of ‘meat and three veg’.
This book—a revised edition of her original cookbook—was put together by her daughter, Suzanne, and two granddaughters, Kate and Louise.
Page 32 is a chapter divider for eggs and cheese, so I moved on to page 132. Yummo!
Escalavida (Spanish-roasted vegetables)
500 g medium or baby eggplants
1 bunch salad onions, peeled and trimmed
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
2 red capsicum, halved and seeded
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
chopped parsley and pitted halved black olives, to garnish
In a baking dish, roast the vegetables and garlic with half the olive oil in a 180°C oven, until very soft. Cover tightly with a lid or foil and leave for 10 minutes or so to cool slightly. Uncover and skin the capsicum and eggplant, if liked, and cut into long strips. If the eggplants are baby ones, you may prefer to leave them unpeeled and whole or halved. Leave the onions whole.
While still warm, dress with the remaining olive oil and season with the salt. Turn into a serving dish and scatter with parsley and olives.
How it played out
Thanks to a Sunday afternoon blitz at the markets—when fresh produce goes for about half price—I had all the makings for this.
I tossed everything together in a large baking dish and then added one BIG extra—about 20 anchovies. Heck, the recipe says Spanish, so I reckon that means anchovies—and lots of them.
I didn’t bother adding the last 1/4 cup of oil, because there was enough oil clinging to the anchovies. Nor did I bother peeling the eggplant and capsicum. Why waste all that goodness?
Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow! This is a fabulous dish and so quick to make. We have it several times a week—even with baked silverside of beef—and are rapidly polishing off a large jar of anchovies.
I’ve varied the veggies, depending on what’s on hand and what needs to be used up. Fennel works well and so does zucchini.
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