Stuffed Aubergines with Tahini Yoghurt and Herb Dressing

Updated: Apr 14


This recipe is a vegetarian adaptation from my Grandma’s ‘Imam Bayildi’, a classic Turkish dish of aubergine halves stuffed with mince meat. In this case, I have used a vegetable and lentil mix to stuff the aubergines, piled on top of a garlicky yoghurt base and zesty coriander dressing.


Total Cook Time: 1 hour | Serves 4 | Vegetarian

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil

2 large aubergines, halved lengthways

150g bulgur wheat

1 red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 can chopped tomatoes

½ tsp allepo pepper flakes

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp smoked paprika

20g pine nuts

1 lemon, zested

50g feta cheese, crumbled

Tahini Yoghurt:

750ml yoghurt

3 tbsp tahini

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Coriander oil:

15g mint leaves

15g parsley

15g coriander

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C/gas 5.

2. Half the aubergines lengthways, keeping the skin on and score the flesh inside leaving a 1 cm border to the skin and cross hatch pattern inside. Arrange the halves on a tray, skin side down and drizzle generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 40-50 minutes until softened.

3. While the aubergines are roasting, rinse the bulgur wheat under cold running water and drain. Add the bulgur and 1tsp salt to a small saucepan and cover with water (check packet instructions) Bring to a boil, then take off the heat, cover and leave to stand for 20 minutes until the bulgur is cooked through. Fluff up with a fork.

4. Heat a drizzle of olive oil and the butter in in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the diced onion and sweat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato puree and spices and fry for 2 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes with their juices and cook through for 5 minutes until slightly reduced. Season with salt and pepper.

5. For the yoghurt, mix all ingredients together in a bowl, taste and season.

6. Prepare the coriander dressing by finely chopping the herbs or blitzing all the ingredients in a blender. Taste and season.

7. When the aubergines are soft, leave to cool for a few minutes before scooping out the inside flesh, being careful to leave the skins intact. Add to the pan with onions and stir through to break up the flesh. Add the cooked bulgur and combine.

8. Spoon the bulgur filling generously into the aubergine shells, letting it fall over the sides.

9. In a small bowl, combine the crumbled feta with lemon zest, pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil, being careful not to break up the feta too much. Crumble the feta mix over the stuffed aubergine shells and return to the oven for 8 minutes.

10. To serve, spoon the yogurt into the bowls and place the aubergine shells on top. Drizzle the herb dressing all over.

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