Baby Stuffed Aubergines a la Chiller Cabinet

To celebrate the opening of the Veggiestan kitchen (posh word for a food prep table and a cuddly new fridge), we are sharing with you the secret recipe of our most popular dish to date. It’s very hush hush, so don’t go sharing it with anyone else, now will you…? Also: it should be patently obvious from our food photos that food photographers/stylists we are not. The photos in the real book were taken by the lovely Yuki, and cooked/styled by the equally lovely Valerie. But these little dolmeh DO taste divine. Trust us. AND they are a doddle to prepare.

Ingredients (to make 8):

  • 8 baby aubergines
  • salt
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and roughly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 16 shelled walnut quarters
  • 8 pitted dates, halved
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grape pekmez (or pomegranate molasses)
  • 4 tablespoons tomato concasse (or juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Firstly make a lengthways incision in each of the aubergines, taking care not to pierce right through. Sprinkle a little salt into each of the cavities, and rub it in before inverting the vegetables on some kitchen paper to drain.

After around 1/2 an hour wipe the aubergines to remove the any residual bitterness/water/salt. Insert a chunk of onion and a couple of slices of garlic into each cavity, and then press a couple of pieces of walnut and date into each. Layer them into an ovenproof dish.

Whisk all of the other ingredients together and drizzle the resulting sauce over the aubergines. Cover the dish and bake at gas mark 5 (190C) for around 40 minutes or until the aubergine flesh is soft when you poke it.

Enjoy whilst still warm: these make a great meze item, or a posh addition to your picnic.

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