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Posts Tagged ‘Quick pickled onions’

Give these a go for a super tasty mid-week and meat-free meal. The aubergines and beans really fill you up and the extras are non-negotiable as they all come together to make these tacos taste great. If you have too many pickled onions they will keep in the fridge for a few days and are great on the side of all sorts of things or in toasted sandwiches.

Wine Suggestion: The pickles need to be matched with a touch of residual sugar in the wine, or else the vinegar gets accentuated. The aubergine and black beans also need a touch of rich, earthiness but not too much weight. We found our match in Finca Bacara’s Crazy Grapes, a Monastrell from Jumilla in Spain. Superbly balanced juicy fruits, all brambles, black plums and berries, with a hint of earthy tannins and so easy to drink.

Aubergine and Black Bean Tacos with Feta & Pickled Red Onions

FOR THE QUICK PICKLED ONIONS:

  • 1 large red onion, halved and very thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

FOR THE AUBERGINE & BLACK BEAN FILLING:

  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400g fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • a pinch of dried oregano
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 x 400g tins black beans, 1 drained and rinsed
  • ½ lime, juiced, plus extra wedges to serve

TO SERVE:

  • 8 small tortillas, warmed
  • a handful of coriander leaves
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ an iceberg lettuce, shredded

Start by making the pickled onions. Combine all of the ingredients with a generous sprinkle of sea salt flakes in a plastic container with a lid. Close the lid and shake hard for a couple of minutes or until the onions soften.

Next, you need to burn your aubergines. Prick them all over with a fork, then either place them directly over a gas flame, on the barbecue, or under a hot grill. Turn them until they are blackened and burnt all over and starting to collapse, then aside on a plate to cool.

When the aubergines are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and discard the blackened skins.

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.

For the aubergine and black bean filling, you need to heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan with the bay leaf and cumin seeds. When they start sizzling, you can add the onions and garlic. Fry for about 5 minutes or until soft but not coloured, then stir in the tomato purée and cook for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and dried oregano and cook for another few minutes or until they have collapsed into the sauce. Add the aubergine flesh, chilli powder, chilli flakes and vinegar and stir for a minutes, then tip in the drained and undrained beans. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and cook for about 5 minutes until reduced, then transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes until rich and thick.

Fill the warm tortillas with shredded lettuce and the aubergine and black bean filling. Top with feta, coriander, pickled onions and a squeeze of lime.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Halloumi Toastie

We plan every evening meal but tend to wing it during the day, using whatever happens to be lying around. Occasionally though we plan a weekend  breakfast or lunch and are generally very pleased with ourselves for doing so. No less so this weekend when we discovered this amazing toastie combination suggested by Sabrina Ghayour in her vegetarian book, Bazaar.

A Toastie Idea – serves 2

  • 250g halloumi cheese, cut into 6 slices
  • 4 slices of good bread
  • 2 tsp rose harissa
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tbsp quick-pickled onions (see below)
  • 40g butter

Heat a splash of oil over a medium heat and fry the halloumi slices for a couple of minutes on each, until crusty and brown.

Meanwhile, very lightly toast the bread.

Remove the halloumi from the pan, and wipe it out with some kitchen paper.

Divide the halloumi slices between two slices of bread. Spread over the harissa, and drizzle over the honey. Lay the tomato slices on top and finish with a spoon of pickled onions and season well with pepper and a little bit of salt. Top with the remaining slices of bread and press down.

Put the frying pan back over a medium heat and add a quarter of the butter. When the butter has melted put one of the toasties into the pan and press it down by putting a small saucepan with a tin or two inside on top. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add another know of butter and cook on the other side. Remove from the heat and repeat with the other toastie.

FOR THE QUICK PICKLED ONIONS:

  • 1 large red onion, halved and very finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp pul biber chilli flakes
  • a generous sprinkling of Maldon sea salt flakes

Combine the ingredients in a plastic container with a lid. Close the lid and shake vigorously for a couple of minutes until the onions soften, then serve or keep for a couple of days in the fridge. Serve with almost anything but particularly good in a toastie.

(Original recipe from Bazaar by Sabrina Ghayour, Mitchell Beazley, 2019)

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