September 18, 2015

Oat Stuffed Aubergines

A plate of aubergines stuffed with oats, on a wooden background

The abundance of tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, etc. at this time of year has got me wanting to cook Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Today, I’m therefore focusing on a typical Mediterranean vegetable: aubergines/eggplants, of the same family as peppers and tomatoes which come in a variety of shapes and colours. They are in season from June till September (summer months in the Northern Hemisphere). To choose an aubergine, make sure that it is firm to the touch, with a shiny skin and deep purple colour. The leaves at the stem end should be green and fresh, not brown or dried. Aubergines are fibre and anti-oxidant rich, and to best preserve their nutritional value, should be cooked with the least fat possible. In this recipe, a thin layer of oil is enough to cook them, and the heat of the oven does the rest of the job, making them incredibly tender.

A baking tray filled with grilled aubergines

I struggled a bit with coming up with a name for this dish, but never mind the name, it is wholesome and utterly delicious and will make you want to come back for more. You can adapt the recipe to your liking by for instance substituting the oat for another grain, enjoying it warm or cold, topping it up with feta, etc.

A perfect recipe to try at the weekend! Have a good one x

A plate of aubergines stuffed with grains

Oat Stuffed Aubergines – serves 4
•190g oat groats (or other grain of your choice)
•2tbsp flaked almonds
•4 aubergines
•Coconut oil, melted
•½ onion, finely chopped
•½ red pepper, seeded and cut into small cubes
•1tsp ground cumin
•1/2tsp chilli powder
•Salt and pepper
•A bunch of mint, finely chopped
•A bunch of chives, finely chopped
•Seeds from 1 small pomegranate
•150g tahini
•125ml cold water
•½ clove garlic, minced
•Juice from ½ lemon

1.Place the oats in a pan of boiling water and cook for about 45min, until tender. Drain and set aside.
2.Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the almond flakes on a small baking tray and place in the oven for 5min or so, until golden.
3.Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and then criss-cross their surface, without cutting all the way through. Place on a baking tray covered with parchment paper flesh side up and rub them with coconut oil. Place in the oven for 30min, or until the flesh is tender.
4.In the meantime, heat a knob of coconut oil on a medium heat in a large frying/sauté pan. Add the onion and red pepper and sauté for 5-10min, until tender. Add the ground cumin and chilli and fry for another minute. Take off the heat. Once the oats are cooked, add them to the pan alongside some salt and pepper, the mint and chives and the pomegranate seeds. Mix.
5.To prepare the tahini sauce, mix in a bowl the tahini with the water, garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of salt until smooth. Add more water if needed, to make the texture really creamy.
6.To serve, place the aubergines in a serving dish. Top up each half with some of the oats from the pan. Drizzle with tahini sauce and eat with a green salad on the side.

Aubergines Farcies à l’Avoine – pour 4 personnes
•190g de gruau d’avoine (ou autre graine de votre choix)
•2cs d’amandes effilées
•4 aubergines
•Huile de coco, fondue
•½ oignon, pelé et émincé
•½ poivron rouge, épépiné et coupé en petits cubes
•1cc de cumin moulu
•½ cc de piment en poudre
•Sel et poivre
•Une poignée de menthe, émincée
•Une poignée de ciboulette, émincée
•Graines d’une petite grenade
•150g de tahini
•125ml d’eau froide
•½  gousse d’ail, pelée et émincée
•Jus d’½ citron

1.Mettre l’avoine dans une casserole d’eau bouillante et laisser cuire à feu moyen environ 45min, jusqu'à ce qu’il soit tendre. Egoutter et mettre de côté.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 200°C. Mettre les amandes effilées dans un petit plat et enfourner environ 5min, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient dorées.
3.Couper les aubergines dans la longueur et y dessiner des croisillons au couteau, sans couper complètement. Mettre sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier cuisson, côté coupé sur le dessus et les badigeonner d’huile de coco à l’aide d’un pinceau. Mettre au four pour 30min, ou jusqu'à ce que leur chair soit tendre.
4.Pendant ce temps, faire chauffer une noix d’huile de coco dans une grande poêle ou sauteuse. Ajouter l’oignon et le poivron et faire revenir 5-10min, jusqu'à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Ajouter le cumin et le piment en poudre et faire revenir encore 1min. Retirer du feu. Une fois l’avoine cuit, l’ajouter dans la sauteuse, puis assaisonner de sel et de poivre, ajouter les graines de grenade, la menthe et la ciboulette. Mélanger.
5.Pour préparer la sauce au tahini, mélanger dans un bol le tahini avec l’eau, l’ail, le jus de citron et une pincée de sel, jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit crémeux. Si besoin, ajouter un peu d’eau, de façon à obtenir une texture lisse.
6.Pour servir, déposer les aubergines dans un plat de service. Couvrir chaque moitié du mélange à l’avoine. Arroser de sauce au tahini et servir avec une salade verte.

You might also like:
Grilled Aubergines & Tomato Coulis
Aubergine Spread
Aubergine Rolls
Caribbean Aubergine Curry
Japanese-style sautéed Aubergines

September 09, 2015

Stir-Fried Millet with Courgettes - Everyday Cooking

A plate with a stir-fried millet dish

Stir-fried vegetables and a wholegrain was a very regular staple of mine in my student days. Although I don’t tend to eat that sort of dish as often nowadays, I’m still very fond of these meals-in-minutes. We’ve already stepped into September, and whether it is back to school/work time for you, or whether enjoying the Indian Summer, I am sure that simple everyday cooking ideas will always be welcome. As for me, I am making the most of the last few weeks before our baby arrives and I certainly try to keep it as easy as possible in the kitchen. Let me know in the comments what’s your favourite dish of the moment ;-)

Here are a few links to other favourite September easy meal ideas:
Sweetcorn Fritters with Avocado Salsa
Red Pepper Cold Soup
Early Autumn Market Salad
Pipérade Basquaise
Quinoa, Pepper & Courgette Galettes
Japanese-style Sautéed Aubergines

A plate with a stir-fried millet dish

Stir-Fried Millet with Courgettes – serves 4
•250g millet
•1tbsp olive oil
•2tbsp pine nuts
•Coconut oil
•3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
•1tsp ground cumin
•3 large courgettes, sliced
•3tbsp tamari or shoyu
•Black pepper
•Sesame oil (optional)

1.Place the millet in a large saucepan, heat until the millet starts popping, then add double its amount in water. Bring to a simmer, cover and leave to cook for 15-20min until all of the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat, add the olive oil, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool down.
2.Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the pine nuts on a small baking tray and put in the oven for about 10min, until golden. Set aside.
3.Heat a knob of coconut oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the garlic and fry for one minute. Add the cumin powder and heat for another 30sec, then add the courgettes. Stir-fry the courgettes on a medium-high heat for about 10min, until tender, then add the cooked millet, tamari or shoyu and black pepper and fry again for another 3min, stirring all the time.
4.Transfer to a serving dish/serving plates, sprinkle with pine nuts and drizzle with sesame oil, if using. Serve.

Millet Sauté aux Courgettes – pour 4 personnes
•250g de millet
•1cs d’huile d’olive
•2cs de pignons de pin
•Huile de coco
•3 gousses d’ail, pelées et émincées
•1cc de cumin en poudre
•3 courgettes, coupées en tranches fines
•3cs de tamari ou shoyu
•Poivre noir
•Huile de sésame (optionnel)

1.Mettre le millet dans une grande casserole et le faire chauffer jusqu'à ce qu’il commence à éclater. Ajouter alors deux fois son volume en eau. Porter à ébullition, couvrir et laisser cuire à feu doux 15-20min, jusqu'à ce que toute l’eau soit absorbée. Retirer du feu, ajouter l’huile d’olive, égrainer à la fourchette et laisser refroidir.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 160°C. Mettre les pignons sur une petite plaque à four et les y faire dorer environ 10min. Mettre de côté.
3.Faire chauffer une noix d’huile de coco dans un wok ou une grande poêle. Ajouter l’ail et le faire revenir une minute. Ajouter le cumin et faire revenir 30 secondes, puis ajouter les courgettes. Faire sauter les courgettes à feu moyen/fort pendant environ 10min, puis ajouter le millet, la sauce tamari ou shoyu et le poivre noir et faire sauter encore 3min, en remuant constamment.
4.Transférer dans un plat/des assiettes de service. Parsemer de pignons et arroser d’huile de sésame. Servir.