Roasted Aubergines with Mackerel, Feta & Tahini Dressing

 

Aubergines. A vegetable that we don’t see used a lot across social media – or at least, that was the case until recently. Some of you might know aubergines as ‘eggplant’, which is what they’re called in the U.S.A. Either way, the humble aubergine is definitely having a moment. In my house, my Mom makes a gorgeous Chicken Cacciatore recipe using roasted aubergines, and that was one of my first exposures to the flavour it can bring to a meal. I’m also a HUGE fan of Baba Ganoush, which is a Mediterranean dish consisting of a thick sauce/puree, usually made using roted aubergine flesh, tahini, olive oil and seasonings. If you haven’t tried it…TRY IT. Any hummus fans will be hooked instantly, trust me.

Back to the point! This recipe. Recently on Instagram I started to notice a trend towards recipe posts using roasted aubergine, especially by some of my favourite food/fitness bloggers, such as Clean Eating Alice and The Food Medic. Then at Christmas, I was given the Brother Hubbard cookbook as a gift, and found a selection of roasted aubergine (plus fillings) recipes. That was it – I had to try this out, and then try to create my own version.

So! This post is a basic ‘how to roast an aubergine’ recipe, with my own spicy mackerel, tahini and feta filling. If you’re not a fishy fan, there are endless alternatives – for example, see my picture at the bottom for a feta/pea/pomengranate filling, which is from the Brother Hubbard cookbook. I have made this recipe as both a side to a main meal and as a lunch – I will vouch its perfect for either!

Lastly, just as point of interest (NERD ALERT – sue me, I love this stuff), aubergines pack a variety of nutritional punches. They are a great source of fibre at 6g of fibre per 100g of raw aubergine, as well as providing a source of vitamins B1 and B6. Interestingly, research into the nutritional benefits of aubergines has focused on the anti-oxidant nasunin, which is found in the aubergine skin and gives it its deep purple colour. Nasunin is thought to help protect the fatty acids we need for healthy brain function, as well as its role as an anti-oxidant in our bodies. Now so!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized aubergine
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tin of mackerel (I buy mine from Tesco or Lidl)
  • 30g feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 lemon – squeezed for the juice
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • Spices: 1/4 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp ginger

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C.
  2. Preparation time! Slice your aubergine in half lengthways (see photo above).
  3. Line a baking tray with tin-foil. Place your aubergine halves on top.
  4. Using a knife, make criss-cross incisions in the aubergine flesh (see the photo above).
  5. Using a brush, or the back of a spoon, spread the melted coconut oil thinly on top of the aubergine flesh, and season with the sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper.
  6. Place the aubergines into the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes – check at 30 minutes, and if a fork easily pierces the aubergine flesh, its done! The flesh should be quite browned when done.
  7. While the aubergines are cooking, let’s get the filling sorted. Take your tinned mackerel, drain and place into a bowl. Using a fork, mash up the fillets.
  8. Add your spices to the mackerel and mix well.
  9. For the broccoli, I usually heat the florets in the microwave for a minute to soften, and then add to the mackerel, and combine again.
  10. Tahini time! Place 1 tbsp tahini into a small bowl and add the lemon juice. Mix until you have a dressing-like consistency. If its too dry, add a little boiled water from the kettle.
  11. Crumble up your feta and place to the side.
  12. Time to assemble!  When the aubergines are done, remove from the oven and serve on a plate. Cut a line about 1-2 inches deep into the flesh lengthways and spread the flesh either side – this is so you can scoop your filling on top!
  13. Scoop your mackerel/broccoli mix into your aubergine halves.
  14. Drizzle your tahini lemon dressing on top, and finally finish it all off by crumbling the feta on top!
  15. TUCK. IN.

Note: As I said above, if fish ain’t your thing, get creative with this recipe! Once the aubergine is roasted you can literally make it your own. I would suggest combining ingredients like chickpeas, peas, tomatoes, feta, chicken, greek yoghurt, peppers – essentially you’re looking to mix veggies, fibre, fats and protein! The picture below is a pea, feta, roasted baby tomatoes and pomengranate mix which I made by literally mixing those ingredients together!

Enjooooy guys! Tag me on Instagram if you try this out!

Ciara 🙂

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