Back in my uni days I used to make a mean stuffed butternut squash but it took sooo long to roast in the oven that I’ve slowly stopped making it ( as you can imagine I had plenty of time on my hands back then!) Aubergines on the other hand, take half the time to do and they go well with so many different flavours, thats one of the reasons I really like this recipe as the herbs are simple and most people tend to have them in their cupboard. If you are stretched for time you can cook the aubergines in the microwave and they taste just as nice. The only thing is that their skins are much softer and tear easier, see bottom of the page for how to make them this way.
Aubergines are one of my favourite veggies right now, they’re really versatile and absorb flavour very quickly when roasted which is great for a mid-week, meat free meal. There is nothing too fancy about this dish either – if you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes or olives don’t worry about it, they are a nice addition but aren’t essential.
Its so frustrating when you find a great recipe only to realise that there is one ingredient you don’t have in, so whenever I look for new ideas, whether its in cookery books or on Pinterest I usually end up adapting them in some way to suit me. So when sharing recipes with you I always try to think of simple meals which can be altered easily so you can make them again and again 🙂 Also I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to measurements (and creating mountains of washing up and making a general mess of the kitchen) so again if you want to chuck more couscous in or a whole jar of pesto, go right ahead, just try it as you go!
- 2 aubergines
- handful of cherry tomatoes
- 1 courgette
- 1 red pepper
- 6-7 sun-dried tomatoes
- olives (optional)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 red onions red onion
- 100g plain couscous
- 3 tbs basil pesto
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 and line a baking tray with tin foil.
- Slice the aubergines in half length ways and score the flesh using a knife, be careful not to cut the skin underneath.
- Put onto the baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
- Place into the oven for 40 minutes.
- Whilst the aubergines are roasting, finely chop the garlic and add to a frying pan over a medium heat with some olive oil for a few minutes.
- Chop the red onion, courgettes and peppers into small chunks and add to the pan, sauteing until soft.
- Then half the cherry tomatoes and olives (if you are using) and roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes then add these into the pan.
- Add the pesto to the cooked veg and add in the herbs and season well.
- Once the aubergines are done take them out of the oven and scoop out the flesh and add this to the pan with the pesto veggies. Be careful when you do this so as not to tear the skins.
- Mix all of the veg together, seasoning well and then spoon back into the aubergine skins but leave back a a couple of spoonfuls for the couscous
- Pop this under the grill at the same temperature for a further 10 minutes.
- Whilst this is cooking you can make your couscous. If you don’t have plain couscous then a sachet mix will be fine, they usually have around 125g in them so it shouldn’t make too much extra. Add the dry couscous straight into the veg and mix well until its all coated. Then add enough boiling water so that all the mixture is wet but not covered in water.
- Put on a lid and leave until the aubergines are done on a low-medium heat.
- Remove the aubergines from the grill, squeeze the lemon juice over the couscous and serve!
Microwaving your aubergine’s:
Pop both of the aubergines into the microwave whole (no pricking) for around 8 minutes until they feel soft and tender to touch. Then cut them length-ways and gently scoop out the flesh with a spoon, careful though, they are extremely hot! You can always put these skins under the grill whilst you are mixing the aubergine with the other veggies to help them crisp and firm up slightly.
Give them a try this weekend and let me know what you think!