Spanish-style stuffed aubergines

DSC_0685Having lived in and out of hostels these past many months I’d almost forgotten what it’s like to have your own kitchen. And here I am; with quality utensils, a reliable oven, and charmingly chipped second-hand china. What joy it is to have these things back – and to realise that today I am appreciative of what was taken for granted only six months ago.

I had an impulse to cook, and my mind was naturally turned to Akaroa and those punch-packed Spanish flavours I enjoyed at the cookery school (read all about it here).
When I remember that day I taste chorizo, parsley and lemon, so I incorporated this holy trinity into a heart-warming, autumnal comforter (yes, it is autumn here in the Southern hemisphere, and I’m still struggling to get my head round it).

Whether you are enjoying spring or autumn at the moment, this makes a lovely transitional dish; spicy chorizo and sharp nutty parmesan help seasonal vegetables look their very best.

Serves 2:
2 large aubergines
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cooking chorizo sausage
parsley, finely chopped
juice of ½ lemon
parmesan, grated
olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced). Slice the aubergines in half lengthways, then scoop out the flesh, leaving a border inside each aubergine about 1 cm thick. Brush the shells with olive oil then bake them for about 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, chop the aubergine flesh that was removed. Slice chorizo thinly and fry over a medium-high heat for a few minutes until it starts releasing its oil, then add the aubergine flesh, red pepper, and garlic. Sauté for about ten minutes until the peppers and aubergine have softened.

3. Add a small handful of chopped parsley and lemon juice to taste, and season.

4. Remove the tender aubergine shells from the oven and pile stuffing into them. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan and return to the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melting and the breadcrumbs are golden. Serve with a green salad.

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