Dinner party on a budget: the starter

Last night I had some of my girl friends from Bristol over for dinner. It was such a treat and I never wanted them to leave! It was actually another Bristol girl who suggested that I do a blog post on how to cook for friends on a budget, so I seized the challenge and here is how I fed five people, 3 courses for the total of Β£25. Also, if you were to increase the numbers to say 10, the cost shouldn’t go up by that much because, other than the essentials like the meat, theΒ quantities wouldΒ roughly stay the same.

So the starter… Aubergine rolls stuffed with feta. This was an old chalet girl number and one that I can whip up with my eyes shut.

For 5 people you need:

  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 pack of feta
  • 1 chilli
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • a handful of fresh mint

Slice your aubergines lengthways into thin strips. I actually used a mandolin to do this, but when I was skiing I had to freestyle, so don’t worry it can be done without!


Then grill the aubergine slices, preferably on a griddle pan but again not essential, until cooked through and soft and supple.


While the aubergine is grilling, mash together with a fork the feta, mint, chilli and lemon juice to a nice smoothish paste.


Then simply roll up a teaspoon of the feta mix in the aubergine. Numma! These can be made the night before and kept in the fridge, just give them plenty of time to come back to room temperature, before serving on a bed of rocket with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.


I served each person 3 because they are nice and light for a starter.


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