Mediterranean aubergines

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Ingredients

Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a starter or side

 

  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 red pepper or 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red pepper, cored, deseeded and finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 50g halloumi, finely diced
  • 100g pitted green and black olives, rinsed under cold water and finely diced
  • 2 aubergines
  • Large handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Timings

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes

Mediterranean aubergines

This is an absolute favourite new recipe of mine. Beautifully caramelised aubergines stuffed with Mediterranean goodness. They take me right back to hot summers in Corfu, and now hot summers by the sea in the UK. They are a great vegetarian and vegan option. For vegan, simply omit the halloumi cheese.

Method

Preheat the oven to 200/400/gas 6. Line a large roasting tray with baking parchment.

Cut the tops off the aubergines. Slice the aubergines thinly from top to tail lengthways. You will be rolling the middle slices. Keep the outer 4 slices (with the skin on) and dice them finely.

Place the aubergine slices for rolling on to the baking parchment. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes on either side, until the are golden brown, limp (but not burnt).

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions, chopped peppers and chopped aubergine skin. Sautee over a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time to stop it from catching. Add the garlic and chopped olives and cook for a further 20 minutes. Add the halloumi and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir the chopped parsley and lemon zest into the pepper, onion and olive mix. Taste and season well. It may need a squeeze of lemon.

Place a heaped tablespoon of the pepper mix on to each aubergine slice and roll, tucking the ends underneath so you have a smooth finish. You will have extra stuffing.

This is lovely with dressed green leaves and bowls of the extra pepper mix.

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The key here is to get the onions, peppers and aubergines really soft, so that they have completely loosened and released all their water. Prod them with your finger at the start and at the end so that you can tell the difference. Notice how the aubergines especially collapse once you have cooked them, either as slices or in the pepper mix. Aubergines which aren’t cooked thoroughly can taste pulpy and woody… aubergines which have cooked that little bit longer start to caramelise and become malleable. This what we are after my friends.”

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