I PICKED up a box full of beautiful aubergines from the market this week so it’s all about aubergines today!

Although often associated with warmer climates and Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, aubergines are widely cultivated here in the UK too, with their peak season running from June through to September.

Technically a fruit, the aubergine is actually used as a vegetable and is the key component in popular dishes such as ratatouille, moussaka and the Middle Eastern dip baba ghanoush. Beyond these recipes, I’ve found that people struggle to find use for them in everyday home cooking, but they make a wonderful addition to a variety of dishes.

They’re also an excellent ingredient in vegetarian and vegan cooking as their have a unique texture and absorb flavour well.

Aubergines have a subtle, slightly smoky flavour and lovely texture which makes them a really versatile ingredient.

Bold flavours and spices work really well with aubergines making them an ideal ingredient in curries and hearty strews.

They’re also great sliced and cooked on the barbecue with a little olive oil and salt. Or cook them whole until slightly charred to bring out their smoky flavour before peeling and chopping them into your dish.

This Middle Eastern inspired aubergine dish is a great seasonal recipe that’s quick and easy to make and incredibly light and tasty. Serve with some dressed leaves or with some tabbouleh and a spoonful of hummus or mint yoghurt for a more substantial meal.


(serves 2)

2 large aubergines

150g feta

1 red onion finely diced

3 spring onions, sliced

½ tsp ground cumin

150g spinach

2 large tomatoes, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

A pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

50g breadcrumbs

Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

50g pomegranate seeds to serve

Preheat oven to 180c/350F/Gas 4

Slice the aubergine in half length-ways and criss-cross through the flesh without piercing the skin. Carefully scoop out the flesh and finely dice. Place the skin shells in the oven for five minutes.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan over a high heat and fry the onions. Once they start to soften add the garlic, spring onions, tomatoes, cumin, chilli flakes (if using) and diced aubergine and reduce the heat slightly. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the aubergine has softened.

Add the spinach, breadcrumbs and feta to the pan and stir into the other ingredients so everything is well mixed and evenly distributed. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted and the feta has started to melt.

Fill the aubergine shells with the vegetable mixture and return to the oven for five minutes to brown slightly.

To serve, sprinkle with fresh coriander and a few pomegranate seeds.