Don’t you think it’s fascinating that through our senses, especially through taste and smell, we are able to recall so many memories of a particular time in our life, of a season, or of a person? This happens to me continuously and I am sure that it happens to you as well.
One particular ingredient which immediately conjures Summer impressions is the aubergine, also known as eggplant. It’s not that this vegetable is found only in Summer, since it is usually available all year round, but if you say the word aubergine the first thing that crosses my mind is caponata. And caponata kicks off a trail of memories of my younger days. As I write the word I can taste the sweet and sour balance of my mother’s caponata served with some tuna in extra virgin olive oil and boiled potatoes with mint. Cannot forget to mention the crusty Maltese bread which always helped us to scrape clean the plate.
Going back to the aubergine, I must say that I find this commonly deep-purple berry to be a resourceful ingredient. And since yesterday I felt like a vegetarian dinner, and the only vegetables available in my refrigerator were 2 aubergines and a couple of tomatoes, I created this recipe:
Aubergines stuffed with couscous, fresh and sun-dried tomatoes
Ingredients for 2 persons:
- 2 aubergines
- 50g wholewheat couscous
- a handful of cherry tomatoes
- 4 halves sun-dried tomatoes
- wild fennel tops
- chili pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Wash the aubergines, cut them into 2 lengthwise and make criss-cross cuts with a knife in the flesh, without tearing the skin. Place on an oven-proof dish, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and put in the hot oven for approximately 20 minutes until the flesh has softened.
In the meantime, prepare the couscous by pouring 50ml of boiling salted water in a bowl. Add the couscous and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Fluff the grains with a fork adding a small knob of butter to avoid it sticking. Chop the cherry tomatoes into small quarters and cut the sun-dried tomatoes into tiny strips. Finely chop the mint and wild fennel tops.
Make sure the aubergines have cooled down and scoop out gently the soft flesh with a teaspoon. Chop the flesh roughly and add to the couscous together with the tomatoes and herbs. Season with some chili pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Fill in the aubergine halves with the couscous mixture and serve with a green salad or some spinach.