Almond Bar by Sharon Salloum_Stuffed Small Aubergines

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Stuffed Small Aubergines recipe extracted from 'Almond Bar' by Sharon Salloum. Published by Jacqui Small, Feb 2014

Text of Almond Bar by Sharon Salloum_Stuffed Small Aubergines

  • TITLE

    S H A R O N S A L LO U M

    With photography by

    R O B PA L M E R

    To the person whose potential was always undervalued, Violet Salloum, and to the person who always saw the potential in me, Carol Salloum

    jacqui s m a l l

  • TITLE

    S H A R O N S A L LO U M

    With photography by

    R O B PA L M E R

    To the person whose potential was always undervalued, Violet Salloum, and to the person who always saw the potential in me, Carol Salloum

    jacqui s m a l l

  • Introduction 1

    The Syrian pantry 5

    Middle Eastern food suppliers 8

    Spice blends 12

    SAUCES & DIPS 15FINGER FOOD 33SHARED PLATES 51SALADS & SIDES 87MAINS 107DESSERTS 161

    Acknowledgements 195

    Index 196

  • Introduction 1

    The Syrian pantry 5

    Middle Eastern food suppliers 8

    Spice blends 12

    SAUCES & DIPS 15FINGER FOOD 33SHARED PLATES 51SALADS & SIDES 87MAINS 107DESSERTS 161

    Acknowledgements 195

    Index 196

  • 1 1 5

    S H A R E D P L A T E S

    Betinjen mehshikSTUFFED SMALL

    AUBERGINES

    S E R V E S 6

    100 g ( cup) dried chickpeas (use split chickpeas if available)

    200 g (1 cup) medium-grain rice

    18 long, thin (1015 cm/46 in) aubergines (eggplants)

    large handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

    1 small brown onion, finely chopped

    1 small tomato, finely chopped and drained in a sieve

    green (bell) pepper, seeds and membrane removed, flesh finely chopped

    teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    3 teaspoons salt flakes

    125 ml ( cup) olive oil

    2 large tomatoes, extra, cut into 5 mm ( in) thick slices

    1 420 g (15 oz) can diced tomatoes

    1 tablespoon dried mint

    1 clove garlic, crushed

    natural yoghurt, to serve

    Note: If youre likely to make this more than once, its worth visiting a Middle Eastern store and buying a manakra a traditional tool used

    to remove the flesh from aubergine (eggplant) and courgette (zucchini).

    I grew up believing that no one in our family could possibly survive as a vegetarian. Being a vegan would be something else altogether! However, over time I have come to realise that Middle Eastern cuisine in fact offers many vegetarian and vegan options. One main reason is that you cant eat meat during Lent and the other is a matter of poverty, or lack of available meat products. Although I am a meat-lover myself, I absolutely adore this dish. The aubergines (eggplants) youre looking for here are the long, thin purple ones.

    Soak the chickpeas in a bowl of water overnight. Rinse and drain.Rinse the rice well, then soak in a bowl of warm water for about

    30 minutes. Drain.Wash the aubergines (eggplants), then cut the stalk and about

    23 cm (1 in) off the top of each one. Carefully hollow out the aubergines (eggplants) using a small spoon or apple corer, leaving a 5 mm ( in) thick shell (this is a guide; its okay if you have left a little more or less flesh around the inside of the aubergine/eggplant). Take your time so you dont break the skin.

    Drain the chickpeas. If using whole chickpeas, place them on a chopping board and crush with a rolling pin to split the peas and work their skins loose. Discard the skins.

    To make the stuffing, place the rice, chickpeas, parsley, onion, chopped tomato, green pepper, pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and 60 ml ( cup) olive oil in a bowl and mix together well.

    Using your hands, gently fill the aubergine (eggplant) shells with the stuffing, tapping the base on the bench to close up any holes. Dont overfill them as the rice will expand during cooking leave a gap of about 5 mm ( in) at the top of the shells.

    Lay the tomato slices in the base of a large heavy-based saucepan, pour over the remaining olive oil and arrange the stuffed aubergines (eggplants) on top in neat layers.

    Mix together the diced tomatoes, mint, garlic, remaining salt and 375 ml (1 cups) water in a bowl, then pour evenly over the stuffed aubergines (eggplants).

    Place two plates on top to weight the aubergines (eggplants) down during cooking and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil over mediumhigh heat, then remove the lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the aubergines (eggplants) are very tender and the sauce is reduced. Leave to sit for a few minutes, then remove from the pan and serve with yoghurt.1 1 4

    M A I N S

  • 1 1 5

    S H A R E D P L A T E S

    Betinjen mehshikSTUFFED SMALL

    AUBERGINES

    S E R V E S 6

    100 g ( cup) dried chickpeas (use split chickpeas if available)

    200 g (1 cup) medium-grain rice

    18 long, thin (1015 cm/46 in) aubergines (eggplants)

    large handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

    1 small brown onion, finely chopped

    1 small tomato, finely chopped and drained in a sieve

    green (bell) pepper, seeds and membrane removed, flesh finely chopped

    teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    3 teaspoons salt flakes

    125 ml ( cup) olive oil

    2 large tomatoes, extra, cut into 5 mm ( in) thick slices

    1 420 g (15 oz) can diced tomatoes

    1 tablespoon dried mint

    1 clove garlic, crushed

    natural yoghurt, to serve

    Note: If youre likely to make this more than once, its worth visiting a Middle Eastern store and buying a manakra a traditional tool used

    to remove the flesh from aubergine (eggplant) and courgette (zucchini).

    I grew up believing that no one in our family could possibly survive as a vegetarian. Being a vegan would be something else altogether! However, over time I have come to realise that Middle Eastern cuisine in fact offers many vegetarian and vegan options. One main reason is that you cant eat meat during Lent and the other is a matter of poverty, or lack of available meat products. Although I am a meat-lover myself, I absolutely adore this dish. The aubergines (eggplants) youre looking for here are the long, thin purple ones.

    Soak the chickpeas in a bowl of water overnight. Rinse and drain.Rinse the rice well, then soak in a bowl of warm water for about

    30 minutes. Drain.Wash the aubergines (eggplants), then cut the stalk and about

    23 cm (1 in) off the top of each one. Carefully hollow out the aubergines (eggplants) using a small spoon or apple corer, leaving a 5 mm ( in) thick shell (this is a guide; its okay if you have left a little more or less flesh around the inside of the aubergine/eggplant). Take your time so you dont break the skin.

    Drain the chickpeas. If using whole chickpeas, place them on a chopping board and crush with a rolling pin to split the peas and work their skins loose. Discard the skins.

    To make the stuffing, place the rice, chickpeas, parsley, onion, chopped tomato, green pepper, pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and 60 ml ( cup) olive oil in a bowl and mix together well.

    Using your hands, gently fill the aubergine (eggplant) shells with the stuffing, tapping the base on the bench to close up any holes. Dont overfill them as the rice will expand during cooking leave a gap of about 5 mm ( in) at the top of the shells.

    Lay the tomato slices in the base of a large heavy-based saucepan, pour over the remaining olive oil and arrange the stuffed aubergines (eggplants) on top in neat layers.

    Mix together the diced tomatoes, mint, garlic, remaining salt and 375 ml (1 cups) water in a bowl, then pour evenly over the stuffed aubergines (eggplants).

    Place two plates on top to weight the aubergines (eggplants) down during cooking and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil over mediumhigh heat, then remove the lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the aubergines (eggplants) are very tender and the sauce is reduced. Leave to sit for a few minutes, then remove from the pan and serve with yoghurt.1 1 4

    M A I N S