This is not the most attractive dish in the world and we definitely didn’t do the best job of cutting the aubergines. It nonetheless tasted delicious and we’re sure to do it again.
Wine Suggestion: We’d recommend finding a juicy red from Spain. Look out for well made wines from the smaller and lesser known areas as these offer great value; this dish doesn’t need a refined and suave wine, some rusticity is good. We tried a juicy and smooth Tempranillo called Biberius from the Ribera del Duero and thoroughly enjoyed it!
‘Swooning Imam’ Stuffed Aubergines – serves 2
- 2 large aubergines
- 4-6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 2 red onions, finely sliced
- 3-4 tomatoes, finely sliced
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- about 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- fresh mint, shredded
Leave the stem on the aubergines, score the skin and peel it away in thick stripes. Cut down the length of each one (without cutting completely in half) and scoop out the seedy bits. Chop these and set aside. Sprinkle the cavities with salt, and leave to drain on kitchen paper for half an hour, then wipe dry.
Heat a good splash of oil in a frying pan. Add the aubergines and fry for about 7 minutes, until lightly browned and softened. Remove from the pan and leave to drain.
Add some more oil to the pan and fry the onions, garlic and with the reserved seedy bits of the aubergine. After about 5 minutes, add the tomatoes, paprika, sugar and lemon juice, stir well and season.
Put the aubergines into a deep frying pan with a lid. Stuff the cavities with the onion mixture and drizzle the rest over the top. Add the rest of the olive oil and 100ml cold water, then put on the heat. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat to low, cover and leave to cook for about 45 minutes or until completely tender.
Serve warm or at room temperature with the mint sprinkled over the top and serve with crusty bread.
(Original recipe from Veggiestan: a vegetable lover’s tour of the middle east by Sally Butcher (Pavillon) and published in The Guardian.)