This is such a delicious way to cook eggplants. The flesh melts down until soft and tender like babaganoush, which is then mixed with slow cooked caramelised onions, spices and chickpeas.
This recipe makes 2 stuffed eggplant shells, which are rich and delicious alone but pairs well with a simple rocket and lemon salad and a side of homous.
1 large eggplant
2 red onions, finely diced
1 tbsp tomato puree
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ras el hanout
¼ tsp chilli powder
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 tbsp zata'ar
Handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 190C fan.
2. Cut the eggplant in half lengthways. Score the flesh of the eggplant around the edge, leaving a 1cm border and make deep cuts in a cross pattern on the flesh, being careful not to pierce through to the skin.
3. Place the eggplant, flesh facing upwards on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Generously drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the eggplants are soft, caramelised and cooked through.
4. While the eggplants are cooking, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the diced onions and a pinch of salt and cook down slowly until completely softened, about 15 minutes but the longer they cook, the more flavour will develop. Turn up the heat to caramelise them to a deep golden brown.
5. Add the tomato puree, garlic and spices and fry for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the chickpeas and stir all to coat. Take the pan off the heat until the eggplants are cooked.
6. Let the eggplants cool for a few minutes before handling. Use a spoon to scoop out the softened flesh, leaving the skin in tact. Add the flesh to the pan and cook all together until the mixture is rich and jammy. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
7. Spoon the chickpea mix back into the eggplant shells. Top with the zata'ar and parsley leaves and serve.