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Harissa Aubergine with Tomato and Feta

Harissa-brushed aubergine baked in a tasty, spiced tomato sauce with feta. It takes about an hour to make, but the process is very simple. You give the aubergine a quick sear then brush it with harissa paste and seasoning. You then prepare the simple tomato sauce, add the aubergine and feta, and bake it all together until the aubergine is nice and soft and the sauce has thickened. To make this dish vegan, simply omit the feta.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale
For the aubergine:
  • 2 medium aubergines
  • 1 tbsp rose harissa paste
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
For the sauce:
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsps rose harissa paste
  • 2 x 400 g tin cherry tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
  • 200 ml water
  • 2 tsps sugar, optional
  • 200 g feta, cut into to 2 cm cubes

Instructions

  1. Heat your oven to 180℃/ fan 160℃. Start by scoring the aubergine. To do this, cut the aubergine in half lengthwise. Using the tip of a small, sharp knife, make small incisions in a crosshatch pattern. You don’t want to go deep enough that you cut through the skin; stop about a third of the way into the flesh.
  2. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large, non-stick pan or pot over medium-high heat. Add the aubergine flesh side down and leave undisturbed for 3 minutes, or until golden brown. You want the flesh to be fully in contact with the pan, so you may need to do this in two batches. Transfer the aubergine to a plate.
  3. Combine the rose harissa paste, extra-virgin olive oil and salt in a small bowl. Brush the mixture over the aubergine halves. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, heat another splash of extra-virgin olive oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then add the harissa paste and cook, again stirring constantly, for another minute.
  6. Add the tinned tomatoes, water and sugar (if using) and stir to combine, incorporating any stuck bits at the bottom of the pan into the sauce. Season generously with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a simmer. Once simmering, remove the sauce from the heat.
  7. Transfer the sauce to an oven proof dish. I used a wide 3 litre casserole dish (dimensions: LxWxH: 38.6 cm x 31.1 cm x 11.2 cm). Nestle the aubergine halves into the sauce then nestle in the feta cubes.
  8. Bake the dish uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes, until the aubergine is nice and soft and the top of the sauce and feta are browned. Serve and enjoy!

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