easy imam bayildi

This aubergine recipe is absolutely one of my favourite things ever. It’s an ancient Middle Eastern recipe that is so delicious I could eat it every day. I serve it with warm flat breads, Greek yogurt (or Oatly crème fraîche if you are dairy free) and salad and it’s the perfect lunch or starter. It’s brilliant with my Baked Falafel too. Sometimes I add toasted pine nuts on top with the mint and parsley leaves. My friend Giada and I had it for lunch on toast with hummus and it was delicious.


Ingredients

Serves 3-4

  • 2 aubergine sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices lengthwise 
  • 1 small onion finely chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 tsp of red chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (I think it needs quite a lot) 
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes 
  • Small bunch of mint
  • Small bunch of parsley 
  • 1 tsp of maple syrup (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

How:

Preheat the oven to 180c or 350f.

The cut aubergines can be salted and left to drain for twenty minutes then washed before use, however they have bred the bitterness out of some of them so I generally find it unnecessary. 

Fry the aubergine slices in a big glug of olive oil, on both sides till golden. Set aside. Fry the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil till it’s starting to go golden and add the garlic, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and cook for a further minute. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and  gently cook till the sauce, about 5 minutes. 

Place the aubergines in an oven proof dish or pan and pour over the tomato sauce. Cover with a lid or tightly with foil and bake for about for about one and a half hours or until the aubergines are tender. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley and leaves of the mint and serve. They are even better the next day after a night in the fridge. 

My serving suggestion below is with warm pita bread, salad, Oatly crème fraîche and lots of the herbs.

I shop at:
Waitrose
Sainsbury’s
Tesco
Lidl

pasta alla norma

This is the classic delicious Sicilian aubergine Pasta Alla Norma recipe, which from everything I have read, was first created in the 1700’s in Catania in Sicily and was so delicious that it was compared to the beautiful opera Norma and thus named. Its a good store cupboard supper, and I’ve also served it up at dinner parties with a crisp green salad.


Ingredients

Serves 3-4

  • 2 small aubergines (eggplant)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced 
  • 400g of boccole, rigatoni or macaroni 
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes 
  • A big bunch of basil
  • Ricotta Salata to garnish (which is not ricotta and I couldn’t get it) or lots if grated parmesan or a vegetarian hard cheese 
  • Chilli oil (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How:

Make the tomato sauce by sautéing the minced garlic in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for half a minute, but don’t let it colour. Add the tin of tomatoes and simmer gently for 15 minutes, or until it’s slightly thicker. I add a teaspoon of optional maple syrup to mine to bring out the flavour of the tomatoes.

Slice the aubergines (eggplant) into any shape you like… I like mine in slices lengthwise but coins are fine too. Fry them in about quarter of an inch of olive oil until golden on both sides and drain on a clean tea towel or kitchen paper. 

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet in salty water. Drain and add to the tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add a little chilli oil if using(I love it)then mix in the fried aubergine. 

Grate the Ricotta Salata over the top (or Parmesan) and finish with basil leaves.

I shop at:
Waitrose
Sainsbury’s
Tesco
Lidl

karedok

This is my version of the all raw peanutty salad that comes from Indonesia, the ingredients I put in it are readily available in the supermarket, but if you can get Thai aubergines, which I couldn’t get, then you can add chunks of those too if you want it to be even more authentic, but it is delicious either way(it’s also a good fridge clearer outer using up veg from the fridge) You can serve it with rice if you want, or just on it’s own as a tasty healthy salad. 

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roasted aubergine and chick pea shawarma with forbidden rice

Belazu sent me a jar of their spicy shawarma paste and I immediately thought of roasting aubergines and chick peas with it. To that I added their forbidden black rice and a little salad and garlicky yogurt it became a shawarma bowl. You can also serve this in a warm flatbread wrap with tahini or humus instead of the rice. It’s Middle Eastern and spicy, creamy, salty and super healthy.

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aubergine pizza

This pizza recipe looks great, and best of all it tastes great too. The aubergine works really well cooked this way and becomes creamy and slightly sweet. The flavour of the mozzarella is boosted with a bit of parmesan and the red onion… once prepped the pizza takes about 6 minutes to cook… so if you are entertaining you can prepare them in advance and bung them in the oven just before you want them. Brilliant with a green salad and a glass of Italian red wine.

For the links to my pizza dough and sugo just click on them and it will take you to the recipes.

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sabich

I saw this traditional Israeli sandwich being made on “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix and I had to recreate it as it looked so delicious. It’s got fried aubergines, boiled eggs, pickled vegetables, salad and a tahini dressing. What’s not to like? After the Gothenburg (also on this blog), this is my other favourite sandwich – and it’s not called the best sandwich in the world for nothing… It’s usually folded over or the filling is tucked into the pocket of a flat bread, but I’ve made it like an open sandwich so you can see the gorgeous ingredients. I have left Amba sauce out (which is a savoury mango pickle which you can buy online or make yourself but you can add it if you can get hold of it) and I used Sriracha instead of making chili sauce from scratch.

It’s a vegetarian dream.

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baby aubergine salad with parmesan and basil

These Italian aubergines are so creamy and delicious, I love them. This recipe is fantastic as a side dish to pasta for dinner or just with or on crusty bread for lunch. Its got all the Italian flavours of basil, pine nuts and parmesan with lots of garlic and olive oil. It’s also best served at room temperature like a salad so you can prepare it in advance and eat it at your leisure…

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freekeh salad with roasted vegetables

Freekah is fast becoming the new superfood. It’s a baby green wheat which has been roasted which gives it a slightly smoky flavour and it’s much higher in protein and fibre than quinoa and has a much better texture and flavour. It can be added to stir fries and salads. If you google its health benefits they are endless. You can use it as you would quinoa and I buy it ready cooked from the supermarket in a bag made by Merchant Gourmet(or you can cook it from scratch) This healthy salad recipe is middle eastern in its style of flavours with cinnamon and smoked paprika. It’s perfect with other salads, roasts or humus and bread. It’s also a perfect lunch with a dollop of garlicky yogurt.

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