Sometimes you see a picture and a recipe and you just have to make it. Simon Rimmer’s Spice Filled Aubergines is one of them.
Spice filled aubergines just out of the oven.
Start with two thick slices of aubergine (eggplant) – mine were roughly two inches high both from one eggplant. Cut a circle around at least 1/4 inch from the inside of the peel about a half inch deep. Score it inside the circle. Salt the eggplant top and bottom and drain in a colander for 30 minutes.
Cover 1 tablespoon of dried currants with boiling water and set aside.
While the eggplant drains, chop a small onion and two cloves of garlic while you wait on the eggplant and currants. Also, finely chop about 1/4 Cup flat leaf parsley. Cut thick slices from center of two tomatoes and set aside. Chop the rest of the tomato. Note to self – next time take calipers to measure eggplant and tomato diameter so they are the same size.
After 30 minutes, rinse and dry the eggplant. Fry both ends of the eggplant in olive oil about two minutes per end. Place eggplant in an oven safe baking dish. Bake in a 390 oven (temp was converted from C to F) for 30 minutes until the eggplant is soft.
Sauté onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add the currants in their soaking water, the chopped tomato, a heaping teaspoon harissa (Moroccan spice paste), a half teaspoon of cumin, a dash of coriander and a pinch of cayenne pepper, lower temperature and let simmer while the eggplant bakes. The sauce should reduce as it cooks. You don’t want it too wet when it is done.
Remove eggplant from the oven. Let eggplant and the stuffing sauce cool enough to handle. Punch down the circle you cut in the top of the eggplant to near the bottom to form a cup within the slice. Stir parsley into the stuffing sauce; fill the eggplant cups and top with a slice of tomato. Brush the tomato with olive oil, sprinkle with a little parsley and a little hint of cayenne pepper. Put a couple of tablespoons of water in the dish to keep the eggplant moist. Return to oven for abut 30 minutes until heated through and tomato slices are baked. Serve with Greek yogurt.
Spice filled aubergine on Greek yogurt. A cayenne pepper dusted grilled pork loin chop and green chard with garlic chips complete the meal.
I plated the aubergine with a grilled cayenne pepper pork loin chop and steamed green chard with garlic chips tossed with a splash of red wine vinegar. The stuffed aubergine was a flavor treat. Last night, I thought it was too much work to make. This morning, remembering the flavors stuffing sauce makes me think It might happen again someday. It was very, very good. Perhaps it was worth the labor. And maybe next time with lamb or a spicy link sausage… and garlic bread… hmmmmmmmmmm?