I believe in having colourful foods on the plate and I love the beautiful dark gloss of an aubergine, which looks like it has been coloured dark by the hot rays of the sun. Unfortunately, although aubergines are good for you, they do need help in terms of taste. Spices really help to introduce flavour to the soft flesh. To give this dish a Mediterranean flavour, just mix in your Mediterranean Spice Rub (oregano, thyme combined with chilli flakes, red paprika and dried garlic). I have also added rich aromatic cumin and fresh garlic. These will aid digestion and the garlic is full of vitamin C, manganese and vitamin B6 and also works hard to keep illnesses at bay as it can strengthen the immune system.
Calories per serving: 247
2 large aubergines (eggplants)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
½ small red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
2 tbsp Mediterranean Spice Rub
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
8–10 sunkissed tomatoes, roughly chopped
a large handful of fresh basil leaves
70g/2½oz/scant ½ cup black pitted Kalamata olives
120g/4½oz Greek feta cheese, cut into small cubes
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
Cut each aubergine in half lengthways. Score the aubergine flesh with some deep cuts a few times but don’t cut all the way through the aubergines.
Place the aubergines on a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake in the hot oven for 12–15 minutes until almost soft. Leave the oven on. Allow the aubergines to cool then scoop out the flesh.
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the remaining olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and, as soon as they start to sizzle, add the onion, garlic and chilli and cook for 4–5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Sprinkle in the Mediterranean Spice Rub and mix in the aubergine flesh. Season with salt and pepper and sauté over a high heat for 3–4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and basil leaves, mix, then take the pan off the heat and fold in the olives and feta.
Divide the mixture between the aubergine skins and return to the oven for 10–15 minutes until the stuffing and the skins are cooked.
- Add cubed courgettes or red peppers if you would like to vary the taste.
- If you can’t find sun kissed tomatoes, then use sun-dried ones and if they are in oil, shake the oil off before adding to the dish.
The featured recipe is from ‘Spice yourself Slim: Harness the power of super spices for well-being ad weight-loss’ by Kalpna Woolf, published by Pavilion Books. Photo credit to Clare Winfield