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Recipe: Chermoula Aubergine with Cucumber Pomegranate Salsa
This post was created in partnership with HelloFresh. The other week I was explaining to someone how I choose which recipes I’m going to make from a food blog or a new cookbook. I’ve got shelves full of delicious recipes, but I’ve made it my mission to try new recipes that teach me something: either a flavour combination I find intriguing, a technique I’ve yet to master or another take on a dish I’ve not quite managed to master yet.
This is one of the things I love about occasionally getting a meal kit delivery: not only are the recipes already chosen and the ingredients already measured out for you to make life so much easier on busy weeknights (and the best kits also do their best to reduce excess packaging, as only getting the ingredients you need also helps cut down on food waste – I’ve found that HelloFresh are particularly good at this!) but they get me to try new ideas that I may not have originally been susceptible to trying out if they were not already and prepped to go.
This is kind of how this spiced aubergine / bulgar wheat / Middle Eastern-style salsa bowl came about. Most of the flavours and ideas are nothing new to me, but when HelloFresh set me the challenge of recreating their Chermoula Aubergine recipe with just an ingredient list and cooking instructions, no measurements included (all very Great British Bake Off technical challenge!) I ended up with a jar of Chermoula, a heady, Middle Eastern cumin / coriander / preserved lemon blend I’d never worked with before in my shopping basket. While I can’t wait to slather it all over a lamb shoulder before giving it the slow roasted treatment or marinate some chicken thighs in it for the barbecue, for now as I’m eating meat less and less these days I want to tell you how amazing it is rubbed all over some roasted aubergine, the fleshy vegetable really taking in all those beautiful flavours.
So, if you’re after a light, tasty, serves two supper look no further. And then, as I’ve already written some of your shopping list for you, head over to HelloFresh to sort out the rest of the weeks meals – from 6th to 12th April they have an Oven Baked Bacon Risotto, a Caramelised Onion Sausage Traybake, some Cheesy Baked Chicken Orzo and a Soulful Squash Dhal on the menu that all look really, really delicious!
These easy, bright and light Middle-Eastern grain bowl is the perfect veggie dinner for #MeatFreeMonday! The Chermoula paste really soaks into the aubergine so the soft flesh takes on its bold, punchy flavour.
For the Chermoula Aubergine Bowls
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp Runny Honey
2 tbsp Chermoula Paste
Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Black Pepper
1 Large Aubergine
2 Yellow or Orange Peppers, sliced
120g (4.5 oz) Bulgar Wheat
For the Cucumber Pomegranate Salsa
1 Cucumber, peeled and diced
Seeds of 1/2 Pomegranate
Small Handful Fresh Mint, roughly chopped
Small Handful Flat Leaf Parsley, roughly chopped
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Runny Honey
1 tsp White Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp Sumac
Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (390 fahrenheit). Line a baking tray with foil, and combine the extra virgin olive oil, runny honey, Chermoula paste, and a generous amount of salt and pepper in the bottom of a large bowl.
Split the aubergine down the middle, then cut each half into three long strips. Core, de-seed and slice the peppers, and toss all the veggies in the Chermoula mixture until everything is well coated. Spread the vegetables out on the baking tray and roast in the oven for 25 minutes until the peppers have started to caramelise and the aubergine has gone soft and slightly golden.
Meanwhile, cook the bulgar wheat in a pan of salted, boiling water for 15 minutes until tender.
To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Drain the bulgar wheat and divide between two bowls. Divide the vegetables and the salsa between the two bowls, and serve.
I'm a food writer living in London and the English Countryside. Welcome to my online diary where I share easy, weeknight recipes, foodie travel diaries and some of the best places I've eaten out recently.
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One Pan Pescatarian: 100 Delicious Dinners – Veggie, Vegan, Fish
My second cookbook contains 100 delicious dinner recipes, all of which are either vegetarian, vegan or which celebrate fish and seafood - all cooked in either one pot or one pan.*