My often tumultuous relationship with aubergine (eggplant) has been well documented on this site. I go through periods of hating them, then loving them, then not being bothered with the potential rubberiness of them when they’re badly cooked.
Thanks to the Honey and Co cookbook, however, I’ve started to love them – specifically when they’re sliced thinly, grilled and stuffed with pomegranate and walnuts.
As much as I now like aubergines, I also hate throwing things away. Last night’s leftover Basmati rice was calling my name from the fridge, just begging to be used before it turned dry and tasteless. I had also made an entire jar full of Harissa paste in a fairly successful attempt to avoid doing any work yesterday. And these two aubergines were going off.
So this recipe was born.
2 aubergines – it’s fine if they’re a little overripe
1 small red onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons Harissa paste (homemade or store-bought)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup of cooked long grain rice (Basmati is best)
1 cup of frozen peas, defrosted
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Cut the aubergines in half and scoop or cut out the flesh in the centre of the aubergine half, to make a “boat”. Reserve the flesh that you’ve cut out
Place the aubergines in a baking dish or on a baking tray and rub the insides gently with olive oil
Bake for about 15 minutes
While the aubergines are baking, take the diced onion and garlic and fry in a little oil until the onion is translucent
Chop the reserved aubergine flesh and add into the pan, stirring well, until the aubergine is almost cooked
Add the rice and peas, and stir well to combine
Add in the Harissa paste and tomato paste and stir well. Cook for 5-7 minutes
Remove the aubergine boats from the oven, stuff with the filling and return to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the flesh is cooked through
Remove from the oven, season well and serve on a bed of fresh greens, like watercress
The Harissa brings a somewhat Tunisian / Mediterranean feel to this meal, although my flatmate claimed it was more Greek (but then, she has just been to Greece). Whatever – it tastes of sun and spice, meaning that if it’s MEANT to be summer where you are (not naming any names..SCOTLAND) this is a nice dish to trick your stomach into thinking you’re on the coast sipping local wine and getting sunburn.