Middle Eastern Stuffed Aubergines

These stuffed aubergines can be served as an appetizer for 8 people or as a main meal with a variety of side dishes.



    1. Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and using a tablespoon, gently scoop out the aubergine flesh from each half being careful not to pierce the skin.
    2. Chop the scooped-out aubergine flesh into small cubes. Place the chopped aubergine and the skins on paper towels, sprinkle with salt and leave aside until needed. This will draw out any bitterness.
    3. In a small saucepan mix ½ a cup of boiling water and the couscous together and cover until needed. Fluff the couscous with a fork when it is ready.
    4. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/360°F.
    5. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat and fry the onions until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic and all the spices to the pan and fry for a few minutes until fragrant.
    6. Stir in the minced beef and aubergine cubes and cook until the meat is browned and aubergine cubes are tender. The beef will continue to cook in the oven, so it doesn’t need to be fully cooked at this stage.
    7. Stir in the cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, couscous, lemon juice and most of the pine nuts and parsley (reserving some for garnishing), warm through and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    8. Wipe the excess salt off the inside of the aubergine skins, lightly brush each of them with olive oil and arrange in a baking tray with their skins down. Generously fill each aubergine with the beef mixture and top with crumbled feta cheese.
    9. Drizzle some olive oil over top of the aubergines and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until soft and the filling is bubbling and golden.
    10. Garnish with the remaining pine nuts and parsley and serve hot from the oven alongside a fresh rocket salad.
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