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The March 2011 edition of Here & Now featured a review on La Sophia Restaurant, which gave readers an insight into how Chef Ali made his mark in the restaurant industry. Chef Ali has kindly provided one of his tantalising recipes for readers to try at home. This dish takes 30 minutes to prepare and cook and is great served with a baby leaf salad or a salad of your choice.

Chef Ali’s oven roast aubergine with fried halloumi, chilli and parsley pesto

What you will need
  • 1 large aubergine
  •  1 red chilli
  • 1 lemon
  • 3tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 15ml of extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g sliced halloumi cheese
  • pinch of salt and pepper
Cooking instructions
  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees
  • Slice the aubergine into one inch think slices
  • Brush one side of the aubergine with olive oil
  • Season the aubergine with salt and pepper on the same side
  • Mix the chopped parsley with the olive oil (35ml)
  • Add the lemon juice and zest
  • Add the finely diced chilli and salt and pepper to taste
  • Mix the pesto and herbs together
  • Put some baking parchment paper on a baking tray
  • Lay down the aubergine on the baking tray and bake the aubergine until brown on the top for roughly 12-15 minutes
  • Leave the aubergine to cool down at room temperature
  • Fry the halloumi in oil until golden each side
  • Cover the top side of the aubergine with the pesto and herb mixture
  • Cut the halloumi in slices and add to the top of the aubergine

85% of the fruit and vegetables, cheese, dry goods, fish and meat La Sophia Restaurant use are bought on Golborne Road or Portobello Road. To find out more about La Sophia Restaurant visit the website at, telephone 020 8968 2200, or better still book a table and try out some of the delicious French-Mediterranean dishes on offer.