It’s funny how some of the foods you hated for years and years as a kid can become some of your favourite foods later in life. Courgette and aubergine (or as I called them until moving to the UK – zucchini and eggplant) are two of those foods for me.
Growing up, my mum couldn’t get me to touch the stuff but now I could eat courgette every single day – baked, fried, grilled, steamed; in curries, stir-fries, casseroles, pasta; on burgers, paninis, pizza… I could go on. Aubergine is not quite as versatile but is still delicious grilled, baked, barbecued or fried or chucked in lasagne, burgers, pasta or sandwiches. Then of course there’s baba ghanoush! Yum!
With a dwindling veggie drawer the other day, I decided to combine these two veggies and stuff an aubergine with a courgette filling.
Following my usual formula for a new recipe, I flicked through a few of my recipe books and did a little Googling for ideas, then created my own recipe from elements of those I came across. It turned out so delicious, I ended up eating it two nights in a row!
Mediterranean Stuffed Aubergine
1 large aubergine
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
½ a green chilli, chopped finely
½ a medium courgette, diced
½ a tablespoon pine nuts
100g baby plum tomatoes, diced
Juice of ½ a lemon
¼ teaspoon dried basil (or even better, fresh basil leaves but I didn’t have any!)
Pepper to season
- Preheat oven to 190˚C
- Slice aubergine in half lengthways, leaving stalk intact
- Slice around the insides of aubergine halves, about 1.5cm from edge, scoop out flesh and dice
- Heat oil in medium pan then fry onions on medium-high heat until starting to soften
- Add garlic and chilli to pan and fry for further 2 minutes
- Stir in diced aubergine and courgette and fry until browned
Meanwhile, bake pine nuts in oven for 2-4 minutes until lightly browned (shake pan half way through to turn pine nuts and cook evenly)
- Add cooked pine nuts, diced tomatoes and lemon juice to pan and stir until heated through
- Remove pan from heat and mix in basil and pepper to season, then scoop mixture into aubergine halves
- Place on foil-lined tray and cook bake in oven for 15-25 minutes until eggplant is softened and filling browned