Spiced Aubergine with Lemon & Sumac Sauce
Words can't describe how much I love aubergine, it's such a meaty vegetable and it's heavenly when roasted! I've found myself experimenting more and more with vegetarian recipes, trying to make satisfying meals without the presence of meat, and feel that this one's a winner (as I've eaten it twice this week!). I've used chopped mushrooms as my 'mince', I have to say they work very well at beefing out the stuffing, giving it a very meaty texture. The rich mixture of peppers, onion and tomatoes is spiced with Middles Eastern flavours which really pack a punch! After being stuffed and roasted the aubergines are drizzled with a tangy lemon and sumac sauce. This is a satisfying and flavour filled vegetarian meal, perfect for meat free Mondays!
Makes 4 halves
Ingredients for the aubergine
2 large aubergines, halved
300g chestnut mushrooms, diced (small)
Half a red onion, diced (small)
1 red pepper, diced (small) 2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ripe tomatoes, diced (large)
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp baharat
1 tsp all spice
Quarter tsp cayenne pepper
Chilli flakes, optional
Small bunch of coriander, chopped
Ingredient for the lemon & sumac sauce
5 tbsp natural yogurt
Juice of half a lemon
Half tsp sumac
Preheat the oven to 200C. Once hot, brush the aubergine halves with olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, make the stuffing. Heat a large pan over a medium flame with a glug of olive oil. Throw in the onions to cook for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic, peppers and mushrooms. Cook for 6-8 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Now add the spices and chilli flakes, giving the pan a good stir to coat the vegetables. Cook for 1-2 minutes then add the tomatoes and puree with a splash of water (or wine if you want a richer flavour). Season and simmer until the aubergines are ready.
Allow the aubergines to cool before you handle them. Carefully scoop out the flesh and roughly chop before adding to the stuffing pan. Combine and cook for a couple of minutes until any excess liquid has reduced.
Spoon the mixture into the aubergine skins and pop back in the oven for 10-15 minutes while you make the sauce. Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce and season to taste.
Serve the stuffed aubergine immediately with chopped coriander and drizzles of sauce.