Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Charred Graffiti Aubergine stuffed with Quinoa and Puy lentils

As a bit of a change from the sweet treats (and anticipating an upturn in sugary confections in the run up to Christmas) I though the time was right to go back to basics with some good, old-fashioned hearty fare. When I spotted these lovely, stripy miniature aubergines in the local grocers recently, I was transfixed, and simply had to have some (it's the little things that make me happy!). A little while after coming up with this recipe I saw these cute stripy aubergines being used on an American cookery programme, and referred to as 'graffiti aubergines'. So I don't know if that's just the American name for them. But since it's very expressive, that what I've referred to them as here. 

This recipe will take about 50 minutes in total and serves 2 hungry people.

2 hand-sized graffiti aubergines

1 cup puy lentils, thoroughly rinsed
1 sprig rosemary
1 cup quinoa
4 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
7 sun dried tomatoes, rehydrated and chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 des sp. paprika
1 tblsp sunflower seeds
1 tblsp pumpkin seeds
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes

1. Set the quinoa, lentils, bay leaves and rosemary in a pan with 4 cups of boiling water. Simmer for about 20 minutes until tender.

2. Meanwhile, halve the aubergines and dry fry (cut side down) in a non-stick frying pan for 5-10mins until charred, moving frequently. Turn and char reverse side for about 5mins. Allow to cool slightly and scoop flesh out of aubergine, roughly chop and set aside.

3. Fry off the onion, chilli, garlic and seeds until the onion is translucent. Then add the rest of the ingredients, including the aubergine flesh. Simmer gently for about ten minutes, adding half of the puy lentils and quinoa at the end of the simmering time.

4. Stuff the aubergine skins with this mixture and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius for about 10-15 minutes until crunchy on top. Use the remainder of the quinoa and puy lentils as a bed on which to set the aubergine.

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