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Armenian tomato and aubergine salad

Serves 4-6

This is rather like the salad that you find in Turkish restaurants, and it's a great dish to just put on the table as a sharing starter.

You can make this as fine or as coarse as you like, and I prefer chopping the ingredients by hand, but you could also give all the ingredients a whizz in a food processor if you wish.

3 medium-sized aubergines
2 cloves of garlic, preferably new-season's, peeled and crushed
1 red chilli, halved, seeded and finely chopped
350-400g ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
150ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Cook the whole aubergines on a barbecue or under a hot grill, for about 15 minutes, turning them every so often until the skin blackens.

Remove from the grill and then leave the aubergine to cool a little.

Cut the aubergines in half and scoop out the flesh as close to the skin as you can to get a really good smokey flavour.

Chop the flesh over several times until it's almost a purée, then put it into a bowl with the garlic, chilli, tomatoes, spring onions, olive oil and coriander. Season and mix well with a spoon.

Serve at room temperature with some warm flatbread.