Standby for this week’s recipe… a quick and flavourful idea to rustle up for a light lunch or dinner featuring one of my favourite vegetables. The delicious aubergine. So many people order aubergine eating out but never cook it at home. This might have something to do with older recipes requiring the aubergine be salted in advance and this sounding a little too complicated for home cooking. Modern varieties of aubergine are less bitter, meaning salting is usually no longer necessary so I generally ignore any steps that involve salting.
This method of cooking aubergine is probably my favourite. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways. Place the halves on a baking tray flesh side up. Using a sharp knife, scour the flesh with crisscross diagonal slits, but don’t cut all the way through to the skin. Mix 2 tbsp olive oil with plenty of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and pour evenly over the four aubergine halves. Place in the oven to roast for about 25 minutes or until the flesh is very soft. You end up with beautifully roasted aubergines that can be eaten on their own or topped with all sorts of delicious options. For this recipe, I made a lemon quinoa stuffing complete with pine nuts and feta cheese.
OK… so what’s great about this recipe? First up it’s an easy way to cook aubergine and can turn this delicious vegetable into a tasty and satisfying meal with minimal effort. Aubergines are at their best during the summer months. This dish takes about ten minutes to prep and can be on the table in a half hour. The lemon quinoa stuffing can be made in advance. All major pros for summer cooking.
Keep scrolling for the recipe for this Lemon Quinoa Stuffed Aubergines.
Lemon Quinoa Stuffed Aubergine
2 medium size aubergines
4 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup quinoa
100g feta cheese, crumbled
4 tbsp pine nuts
1 garlic clove, minced
1 scallion, finely sliced
Juice and a zest of a lemon
Small bunch of parsley leaves, finely chopped
Small bunch of mint leaves, finely chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas mark 6. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways. Place on a baking sheet, flesh side up. Using a sharp knife, scour the flesh with crisscross diagonal slits, but don’t cut all the way through to the skin. Mix 2 tbsp olive oil with plenty of sea salt and freshly ground pepper and pour evenly over the four aubergine halves. Place in the oven to roast for approximately 25 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from the oven and use a fork to gently the mash the aubergine flesh a little and return to the oven to finish roasting. A roasted aubergine should be soft with flesh that’s very easy to mash.
To prepare the quinoa, rinse the uncooked quinoa in a fine sieve. Place in a medium sized saucepan with boiling water. The quinoa to water ratio should be one part quinoa to two part water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cover. The quinoa should be cooked in approximately 15 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure the water doesn’t boil dry. If needs be, add more water. The cooked quinoa should be fluffy with all water absorbed.
Add the cooked quinoa to a bowl along with the juice and zest of a lemon, 1 cloves minced garlic, the crumbled feta, scallion, finely chopped mint and parsley, the pine nuts and 2 tbsp olive oil. Season well with sea salt and black pepper and mix well to combine.
Remove the roast aubergine from the oven and gently mash the flesh. Top the aubergine halves with the quinoa mixture making sure to evenly distribute it and return to the oven for five minutes.
Serve straight away either on its own for a light lunch or with a salad.