I wanted to try a different recipe other than baba ganoush with charred aubergine. I found this recipe on the olive magazine website. It has all those middle eastern flavours I love, smokiness from the spices and aubergine, sweetness from the tomatoes and freshness from the coriander and lemon. I used a spoon to pile a big dollop on the halloumi, when the zaalouk mixes with the salty, creamy halloumi it really is a delicious explosion of flavour. Be warned though it is very moorish.
Ingredients (serves 2 as a main)
- 2 large aubergines
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 8 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato purée (I use sun dried)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- Pinch of chilli flakes
- bay leaf 1
- 1 tsp spicy nduja
- caster sugar a pinch
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
- Sea salt
- 250g halloumi, cut into ½ cm slices
- 6 green stuffed olives, to serve
- Prick the aubergines all over with a fork. Carefully put over a medium gas flame and cook for 3-4 minutes each side, turning a few times until tender. You should be able to poke a skewer into the charred skin and straight through the flesh when it’s cooked. Alternatively you can do this under a hot grill. Remove and leave to cool. Once cool, remove and discard the burnt skin. Cut off the tops and finely chop the flesh.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Tip in the tomatoes, tomato purée, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, bay leaf, nduja and sugar. Season with a good pinch of salt. Add 100ml of water, mix well and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the tomatoes have broken down.
- Tip the aubergines into the sauce and season. Cover and cook for a further 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce is lovely and thick. Add the lemon juice and coriander. Mix to combine.
- Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the halloumi for 1-2 minutes each side until golden and crisp. To serve, spread the zaalouk between 2 serving dishes, top with the halloumi and olives.