Sunday, 18 January 2015

Pomegranate pulled aubergines

It’s been a little while since I blogged a savoury recipe. In fact it has just been a while since I blogged about anything, but I thought my first post for the New Year would be a vegetarian treat. Back in October (really shows how far behind I am at blogging) I had a pre-Halloween dinner party and for most of my guests served up a slow cooked ‘pulled’ lamb and pomegranate dish alongside roasted feta and pumpkin. I did, however, have one vegetarian guest so needed a lamb alternative. Pulled pork and lamb are pretty popular at the moment. But is it possible to ‘pull’ a vegetable? Well I decided to give it a go! First of all which vegetable to choose…well it needed to be something pretty sturdy  that could put up with a long slow cooking process. An aubergine seemed the perfect candidate for this and so slow cooked pomegranate ‘pulled’ aubergine was born.

P.S. It is very difficult to take a flattering photo of a sweet and sticky heap of pulled aubergine, but don’t let the below photo put you off trying this recipe, it is delicious honest!!

Serves 2

1 large aubergine
120ml pomegranate juice
½ tablespoon honey
1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried cumin
Salt and pepper to season

Start by charring your aubergine. If you have a gas burner place the aubergine over a medium gas flame, turning regularly until all of the skin is blistered and charred. Alternatively place the aubergine under a grill, again turning regularly until the skin is charred all over. This process can take a while but be patient as this produces a great smokey flavour in the aubergine.

Allow the aubergine to cool a little before peeling off the skin. Then pull the aubergine into thick strips.

Place the aubergine strips in an oven proof dish and add the cinnamon, oregano, cumin and salt and pepper and ensure the aubergine is evenly covered in the spice mix.

Mix together the pomegranate juice, honey, zest and juice from the lemon and the crushed garlic. Pour over the aubergine and place in an oven at 180°. Bake for 40 minutes, basting the aubergine half way through the cooking to ensure it is evenly coasted in the sticky pomegranate sauce.

After the cooking the sauce should be thorough reduced and be a thick sticky sauce.

This is great served with pomegranate couscous and roasted pumpkin and feta.

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