Tag Archives: aubergine

Recipe of the Week – 22nd January 2018 – Bombay Potato Stuffed Aubergines

This is a variation on a recipe that I have posted before, but I make no apologies as it’s one of my favourites (and one of the most popular Specials in my cafe!). I have modified the spice blend and reduced the oil to make it a bit healthier and slightly spicier, but it is still very satisfying and my go-to comfort food when it’s cold outside!

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 large aubergines, halved and scored inside in a cross pattern

50 ml sunflower oil

3 large onions, sliced

150g baby potatoes, quartered

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp turmeric

1 tbs medium curry powder

2 x 400g tins of good quality chopped tomatoes

Small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method

1. Place the aubergine halves in a large colander, sprinkle generously with salt and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and set aside to drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, add half of the oil and saute the onions, garlic and spices on a low heat for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and tomatoes, and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Season to taste.

3. Preheat the oven to 190C.

4. Pour the remaining oil in a griddle pan or large frying pan, the batch fry the aubergines until light brown. Repeat until all of the halves are done.

5. Arrange the aubergines open side up in a large baking tray. Pour the potato mixture over the top, ensuring that the aubergines are covered.

6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

7. Serve immediately with rice or a green salad.

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Recipe of the Week – 15th January 2018 – Veggie ‘Grussaka’

Ok, I might need to work on the name a bit, but this is essentially a cross between a Potato Gratin and a Moussaka! This, for me combines the best of both worlds from the two dishes – the satisfying dense-ness and layers of a Gratin, topped with the yummy aubergine and yoghurt topping of a moussaka. To make this recipe even more filling I also used a layer of lentils and bulgur wheat in the gratin, so a bit of a combination of things, but we were all really pleased with the end result and it was polished off very quickly!

Serves 6

Ingredients

750g baby potatoes, sliced

6 tbs olive oil

2 large onions, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

150g bulgur wheat

300g red split lentils

2 large aubergines, cut to 5mm slices

2 courgettes, thinly sliced

1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes

800ml good quality stock from bouillon

2 tsp Herbes de Provence

1 tsp dried mint

For the topping;

3 large eggs

500ml plain Greek yogurt

Salt and pepper to season

100g nature cheddar cheese, grated

Method

1. Place the aubergine slices in a large bowl, sprinkle generously with salt and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse then set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C.

3. In a large saucepan, heat half the oil then gently sauté the onions, courgettes and garlic for 5 minutes before adding the lentils, bulgur wheat, herbs, tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, batch fry the aubergine slices in the remaining oil, turning once until light brown. Set aside.

5. In a large casserole dish, place a thin layer of the onion mixture, followed by a layer of the potatoes, then a layer of the aubergine slices, then repeat until used up.

6. Mix the eggs, yogurt and seasoning together in a jug and whisk well. Pour over the dish to cover then top with the grated cheese.

7. Place in the oven for 40 minutes until light brown. Eat immediately with bread and a green salad.

Recipe of the Week – 25th December 2017 – Quick Christmas Vegan Roast!

If you’re stuck for an idea for a vegan main course to go with all the trimmings on Christmas Day, or just for Sunday lunch, here’s a recipe which is quick and easy and provides an alternative to the tried and tested (and somewhat over-used) nut roast recipes. As well as being suitable for people on nut, gluten or dairy-free diets, it’s very tasty, filling, and easy to make. What more do you need when the festive kitchen is chaotic and you just want some good food? Have a good Christmas everyone!

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 large aubergines, thinly sliced

500g red split lentils

6 tbs sunflower oil

1 large onion, finely sliced

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

800ml good quality stock from bouillon

Method

1. Place the aubergines slices in a large bowl, sprinkle generously with salt and leave for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C.

3. Meanwhile, add the lentils, tomatoes, spices and stock to a large saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes until the stock is absorbed.

4. In a smaller pan add 2 tbs of the oil and gently simmer the onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Set aside.

5. Rinse and drain the aubergine slices then batch fry in the remaining oil in a large frying pan, turning once until both sides are golden brown.

6. In a large greased loaf tin add a layer of the aubergine slices, then a layer of the onion mixture, followed by a layer of the lentils. Repeat until full then place in the oven for 20 minutes.

7. Take out of the tin, cut into thick slices and serve immediately.

Recipe of the Week – 23rd October 2017 – Aubergine Tagine


Anyone that has read my blog will soon realise that I do a lot of aubergine recipes (they are versatile, filling and very tasty, so what’s not to like?!) I also really enjoy making Middle Eastern and North African dishes, so this recipe was a bit of a revelation to me. Previously I have only made Tagines with some of the more sturdy root vegetables, such as butternut squash or sweet potato, but this dish is based upon one that uses baby aubergines, which I couldn’t get hold of at the time, although the quartered  whole ones give it a really nice, silky texture. The perfect comfort food!

Serves 6

Ingredients 

6 medium aubergines, quartered lengthways

4 large onions, halved then finely sliced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

4 tbs olive oil

2 red chillis, deseeded and finely sliced

3 tsp cumin seeds

3 tsp coriander seeds

4 tsp sugar

3 x 400g tins of good quality chopped tomatoes

Small handful each of fresh mint and coriander, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Place the aubergine quarters in a large colander, sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

2. Meanwhile, place the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat then add the onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.

3. Put the cumin and coriander seeds in a small frying pan and dry toast gently for 1 minute before crushing in a pestle and mortar.

4. Add the crushed seeds, chilli and sugar, fry for a further minute then add the aubergines and stir to coat thoroughly.  Add the tomatoes, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. 

5. Season to taste, stir in the fresh herbs and serve with couscous or fłatbreads.

Recipe of the Week – 25th September 2017 – Aubergine Shakshuka


I can’t believe I haven’t tried this combination before as it combines one of my favourite meals (Shakshuka) with my favourite vegetable (aubergines). For this variation on the classic Tunisian dish I’ve substituted aubergines for the sliced peppers which make up the original. The end result is more filling, and certainly more satisfying, which works brilliantly as a mid-week easy tea.

Serves 6

Ingredients 

5 tbs olive oil

2 large red onions, thinly sliced

2 large aubergines, halved lengthways then thinly sliced

6 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

800ml passata or 2 x 400g tins of finely chopped tomatoes

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp caraway seeds

½ tsp chilli powder

5 free range eggs

100g feta, diced or crumbled

1 tbs sumac

1 small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Heat the olive oil in a wok then add the onions and aubergine slices and season. Cook gently for 5 minutes then add the garlic, caraway and cumin seeds, and chilli powder. Stir well to coat. Cover the wok and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the passata or tomatoes, together with the sugar, and simmer uncovered for a further 10 minutes. Add 20ml water if the mixture gets too dry.

3. Make 5 wells in the sauce. Break an egg into a cup and drop carefully into each well. Cook covered on a low heat for 10 minutes then add the feta cubes. Replace the lid and cook for a further 5 minutes until the eggs are set.

4. Serve immediately sprinkled with the sumac and chopped coriander. This works very well with slices of sourdough bread to mop up the juices.

Recipe of the Week – 14th August 2017 – Vietnamese Potato and Aubergine Curry


This recipe provides a nice twist on what for me is a regular curry staple in our house. The use of some slightly different additional herbs and spices provides more depth and complexity to the overall taste which gives each mouthful a slightly different flavour. The fried onions and the addition of chutneys also makes this feel like much more than a standard evening meal.

Serves 4

Ingredients

500g baby potatoes, halved 

2 large aubergines, cut into 2 cm dice

1 large onion, chopped

1 stalk of lemongrass, inner core chopped 

1 stick of dried cinnamon 

1 star anise

1 small green chilli, finely chopped

2 tsp fresh ginger, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

4 tbs vegetable oil

2 tbs medium curry powder

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 x 400ml can of coconut milk

1 tsp dried basil

1 small handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to season

For the onion relish

2 large onions, finely sliced

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala

Method

1. Place the diced aubergine cubes in a colander, sprinkle generously with salt and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse the set aside.

2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and par boil for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In another large saucepan add the oil and gently sauté the chopped onions, ginger, garlic and chilli for 10 minutes. Add the lemongrass, cinnamon, star anise and dried spices and mix well. 

4. Add the potatoes and aubergines to the pan, mix to coat well then add 100ml of water. Bring to the boil then allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Remove the whole spices then add the dried and fresh herbs and coconut milk. Season, cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

6. Meanwhile in a separate small pan add the remaining oil and fry the sliced onions, garam masala and chilli powder for 10 minutes until crispy.

7. Serve the curry with the onions, together with plain boiled rice and a selection of chutneys.

Recipe of the Week – 31st July 2017 – Quick Aubergine and Potato Brunch


This is a really simple recipe that I played around with last week when looking for a quick but satisfying light lunch. It’s a bit like a gratin, but also a bit like sautéed potatoes. I was very pleased (and a bit surprised!) with the results, and my children want me to do it again, so something must have gone ok!

Serves 4

Ingredients

500g baby potatoes, halved

2 large aubergines, diced

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

100g frozen peas

2 tsp Herbes de Provence

50g grated mature cheddar cheese (optional if vegan)

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Place the diced aubergine in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes then rinse thoroughly and drain.

2. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water, and parboil for 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In a large frying pan (I used a wok), heat the oil and add the aubergines and potatoes. Stir well to cover with the oil, add the herbs and cover the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft. 

4. Add the peas and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

5. Season and stir well. Stir in the cheese if using.

6. Serve immediately with a salad or some fresh bread.