Aubergines are great vessels for stuffing. This recipe contains a touch of Middle Eastern style spicing and is delicious when served with couscous, a leafy side salad or wilted spinach.
1 large aubergine
Sunflower oil or light olive oil, for frying and roasting
25g flaked almonds
1 onion, finely diced
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
300g minced lamb
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried mint
Quarter tsp smoked paprika
Quarter tsp chilli flakes
4 large tomatoes, skinned & chopped
Handful of mint leaves, shredded
Salt and black pepper
- Heat the oven to 220C/gas 7.
- Cut the aubergine in half lengthways. Score the flesh in a criss-cross pattern. Drizzle liberally with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place skin-side up in a baking dish. Bake for 45 mins or until the flesh is soft and tender right the way through.
- Meanwhile, put the almonds in a dry frying pan. Heat gently, stirring, until golden. Remove to a plate and keep to one side.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and fry on a low heat, stirring, for 5 mins. Add the lamb and fry, stirring, on a medium heat to brown. Add the garlic, cumin coriander, dried mint, smoked paprika and chilli flakes and stir for 2 mins. Add the chopped tomatoes. Season and simmer for 30 mins, adding a splash of water if needed to stop the meat drying out.
- Cut the pomegranate in half crossways. Take a rolling pin or the handle of a wooden spoon. Hold the pomegranate cut-side down in your hand over a bowl and bash the skin; the seeds will fall out (most of them anyway). Pick out any pith that does fall in; there shouldn’t be much with this technique, but it tastes bitter, so remove any you find.
- Once the aubergine flesh is tender, remove it from the oven. Carefully scoop out as much of the flesh as you can, keeping the aubergine skins intact. Add the flesh to the lamb. Stir and simmer for 5 mins. Check the seasoning. Spoon the lamb mixture into the aubergine skins. Sprinkle over the almonds, pomegranate seeds and mint to serve.
Recipes are courtesy of The Riverford Field Kitchen team