Monday, November 22, 2010

Couscous-filled Aubergine halves with roasted cherry tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Ingredients for the sauce:
800 g cherry tomatoes
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
½ unrefined brown sugar
1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground coriander
500g ripe tomatoes, plum tomatoes if possible
zest of half an orange
25g fresh mint (small bunch)
Salt and milled black pepper


Chop the cherry tomatoes in half. Toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper and place them in a baking tray.
Roast in the oven until they are soft and caramelized, 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, the tomatoes must be skinned. Cut an X into the skin of each tomato. Place them in a bog bowl, pour boiling water over them. After about a minute, drain the water and remove the skins. Chop them in quarters.
Blend the skinned tomatoes, adding 100 ml of water.
Slowly brown the onion, garlic and the brown sugar in a large pot over a medium heat.
Cover with a lid and sweat for 10 minutes.
Add the spices and stir for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The heat will bring out the intense flavor of the dry spices.
Then, pour in the blended tomatoes, grated zest of an orange, add a little salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.
When the roasted tomatoes are soft and sticky, add them and the pan juices.
Set this aside, the fresh mint will be added later.

Ingredients for the Aubergine:(makes 6-8 portions)

4 medium aubergines
250g couscous
100g flaked almonds, toasted1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400 g spinach, washed and drained
30 g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
200g fresh or frozen peas
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and milled black pepper


Half the aubergines lengthwise and using a spoon, scoop out the flesh. Keep the flesh for a delicious treat called baba ghanoush- roast aubergine dip.
Brush the whole aubergine, inside and out, with olive oil and roast in the oven until they are starting to soften.
When the aubergines are done, reduce your oven temperature to 180 degrees.
Place the dry couscous in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and add 300 ml of boiling water. Wrap with cling film and allow to stand for 10 minutes. When cooked, fluff with a fork and add a knob of butter.
Add 2 tbsp of olive oil into a big frying pan. Fry the garlic, onion on a low heat until translucent, then add the spinach leaves in two batches and quickly fry until they are wilted.
Combine all the ingredients of the stuffing in a large mixing bowl: the couscous, the toasted almonds, the wilted spinach, the frozen peas, onion and garlic.
Add the chopped coriander and season with salt and black pepper.
Fill each aubergine half with the couscous, cover the tray with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
When you’re ready to serve, reheat your sauce, add freshly chopped mint and generously spoon the sauce over each aubergine.

Babe Ghanoush (roast aubergine dip)


500g aubergine flesh
2 cloves of garlic
5 sprigs of fresh parsley
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tbsp tahini (Sesame seed paste)
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tsp dukka (optional)


Toss the aubergine flesh in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven until soft.
Allow the aubergine to cool completely.
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth and season with salt and pepper.
Before serving, drizzle with olive oil and a teaspoon of dukka.
Serve with warm pita bread or a selection of crudités: carrot, celery, florets of broccoli and cucumber – perfect for a picnic.

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