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Cauliflower & Aubergine Dishes

With healthy eating all the rage and as we’re being encouraged to eat more vegetables from both an environmental and a health point of view, vegetarianism is on the rise and and ‘meat–free monday’ is becoming a thing, among families as well as foodies. 

Imaginative veggie recipes along the lines of the two I have for you this week – which incorporate tasty and aromatic spices – make it a pleasure to consume your five a day. 

Both dishes are great served with rice or couscous to make a main meal, or alternatively serve them up as a side dish along with some spiced chicken, lamb or pork. I hope you enjoy them.

Charred cauliflower with tahini, harissa honey sauce and lemons

(Serves 6)

1 large cauliflower

3 tbsp rose harissa

4 tbsp clear honey

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 tsp ground cinnamon

4 tbsp tahini

6 tbsp Greek yoghurt

½ lemon, juiced, 

½ lemon, sliced

handful of almonds, crushed and toasted

handful of parsley, cleaned and chopped

Start by cutting away the outer leaves of the cauliflower, then cut it into four slices so that you can lay them flat. Combine the harissa, honey, cinnamon and a good glug of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Brush the mix over the cauliflower on both sides. 

Drizzle a little olive oil on your frying pan and set it on a medium heat. When the oil is sizzling place the cauliflower into the pan and cook on both sides for six minutes until both sides start to char. You can roast in the oven at 200C for 20 minutes if you prefer. 

Mix the tahini, yoghurt and lemon juice in a bowl and season with salt; add in a tbsp of lukewarm water to loosen the mixture up into a sauce–like consistency. 

Place the cauliflower on a plate and drizzle with the tahini sauce, slice of lemon and the roasted almonds. 

Charred aubergines 

(Serves 4)

10 baby aubergines, cut lengthways with criss–cross–scored exterior flesh 

vegetable oil to cook

2 tsp black mustard seeds

2 tsp root ginger, peeled and fine chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

15 fresh curry leaves

4 tbsp desiccated coconut

3 tbsp chives, chopped

salt and pepper

2 tbsp natural yoghurt

1 tbsp honey

Start by preheating the grill. Turn your extraction fan on. Rub the aubergines’ skin and flesh with the vegetable oil. Place them flesh side down into the roasting tray and place under the grill until the flesh starts to cook and crisp. This may take 10 to 15 minutes. 

In a frying pan, add in a little oil on a medium heat. Add in the mustard seeds. When they start to pop add in the ginger, chilli and curry leaves and leave for one minute. Add in the coconut. After 30 seconds remove from the heat and add in half of the chives and season with salt. Stir the ingredients well and taste, season more to taste. 

Remove the aubergines from the grill and place on plate skin side down, fill the flesh side with the mix and place on plate. Drizzle with the yoghurt and the honey and sprinkle over the remaining chives and serve.

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