Healthy Vegetarian Recipe: Roasted Aubergines with Harissa and Pomegranate Molasses

healthy-vegetarian-recipe

Words, recipe and image by Dominique Woolf

If I could summarise my style of food in a few words, it would be ‘simple cooking with big, bold flavours’. This dish is exactly that, and I owe it all to two Middle Eastern staples: pomegranate molasses and harissa paste. I frequently use them in dips, marinades, and stews to provide an intense flavour hit with no effort.

Here, the combination of the sweet but tart pomegranate molasses and the spicy, smoky harissa really bring the aubergine to life. Quick to prepare (the main work is done in the oven), it is perfect as a midweek meal when you want something tasty, but don’t have the energy to spend too much time in the kitchen. The leftovers make for an excellent light lunch.

You can easily make this dish vegan by omitting the feta.

Try this healthy vegetarian recipe today.

Ingredients:

Serves 2

For the aubergine

2 medium aubergines

1.5 tablespoons harissa paste

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

1.5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling

60g feta

Coriander, chopped

Sea salt

For the sauce

2 tablespoons harissa paste

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

2 tablespoons orange juice

For the couscous

100g couscous

100ml hot stock or boiling water

1 teaspoon ras-el-hanout or smoked paprika (optional)

Half red onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons olive oil

30g pine nuts, toasted

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C fan/ Gas 7

  2. Make the marinade. Mix together the harissa, pomegranate molasses, and oil, and set aside.

  3. Cut the aubergine in half lengthways, then score the flesh in a criss-cross pattern.

  4. Spoon the marinade over the flesh, then drizzle with a little more oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

  5. Place the aubergine in an oven-proof dish and cook for around 40 minutes, or until the flesh is cooked and tender.

  6. To make the sauce, simply mix the pomegranate molasses, harissa and orange juice then set aside.

  7. Place the couscous in a bowl with the ras-el-hanout or paprika, if using, and add the hot stock or water. Cover for five minutes until cooked.

  8. Heat two teaspoons of oil on a medium heat, then add the onion. Sauté for a few minutes until starting to soften. Add this to the couscous along with the toasted pine nuts.

  9. To serve, crumble the feta over the aubergine and sprinkle with coriander. Drizzle liberally with the sauce.

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Dominique’s love affair with food started as a child. Growing up in the Middle East to a Thai mother and British father, she was surrounded by flavours and cuisines from many different cultures. She has always loved trying new foods and began experimenting in the kitchen from an early age. Now living in London with three young hungry children, she spends more time cooking than ever! Find out more about her over on her Instagram @thehungrywoolf

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