This Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Aubergine (Eggplant) is a great dish to make on a hot day. First of all, it is very light – it doesn’t contain too much fat, it’s vegan, so made without heavy cream or cheese, plus it contains quinoa, which has an amazing ability to make any dish satisfying yet light. This dish can be served hot or cold and to be honest, unless you are very hungry, wait until it’s had a chance to cool down and enjoy it with a hunk of fresh bread with a drizzle of olive oil. There is nothing better on a sizzling hot day and I am happy to say today was such a day here in Manchester, UK!
This Spicy Quinoa Stuffed Aubergine (Eggplant) tastes great the next day and since it doesn’t need heating up you can enjoy any leftovers as a quick and healthy snack. Some of the ingredients can be prepared ahead which will save cooking time (this really makes a difference when it’s hot outside and you don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen). Quinoa, for example, can be cooked in advance and kept in the fridge (I am slightly obsessed with quinoa and like to keep some in the fridge most of the time actually, just in case I need it). The sauce (minus the aubergine) can also be cooked (though not pureed) the night before so that once you’ve scooped out the flesh of the aubergine and added it to the sauce all that’s left to do is pureeing the sauce, combining with the quinoa and spooning it onto the aubergines.
If you’ve never baked aubergine before it is a good idea to use a melon baller (I’ve used it before in THESE recipes), if you’ve got one, to scoop out the flesh, or alternatively, carve out the middle using a knife and a large spoon (leave a little less than 1 cm of thickness around the edges of the aubergine). Remember also that cooking/baking aubergines can be done successfully without using too much oil and brushing the open side of the aubergines with a little oil (2-3 tablespoons) before putting them in the oven is absolutely sufficient.
I hope you enjoy making this simple and delicious dish as much as I have. And I hope you love the taste! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
I am bringing this recipe to #CookBlogShare, which I have the pleasure of hosting this week! If you’ve got a recipe join the party! I comment on ALL the recipes and share them across all social media:)
Yields 3-4 portions
35 minPrep Time
1 hr, 10 Cook Time
1 hr, 45 Total Time
- 3 large aubergines (eggplant)
- 500 g passata
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
- 1 red chilli (leave the seeds in if you want more heat) finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons tarragon, finely chopped
- 1 heaped teaspoon each ground coriander and cumin
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Sesame seeds (white and/or black) for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ gas mark 6. Cut the aubergine (eggplant) in half lengthways and place on a large baking tray open side up. Brush/drizzle with a little olive oil (2-3 tablespoons) and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little. Keep the oven on.
- While the aubergines are in the oven make the sauce. In a saucepan heat up the coconut oil, add the garlic, ginger, chilli, onion, cumin and coriander, stir and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the passata, tarragon, salt, stir, cover and simmer for about 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the aubergines have cooled scoop out the flesh leaving about 8 mm around the edges (you can do this using a melon baller or a large spoon) and add to the sauce. Puree the sauce.
- Place a few tablespoons of the sauce (about a quarter of the sauce) in a large baking dish spreading evenly and place the hallow aubergine halves in a single layer on top. Combine the remaining sauce with the quinoa and stir thoroughly.
- Spoon the quinoa mixture into the aubergine halves, drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle sesame seeds on top, cover with tin foil and bake for 1 hour.
- Serve hot or cold (on its own or with a hunk of crusty bread) with a sprinkling of chives, chopped avocado, more olive oil if you like and freshly chopped chillies.
Preparation time includes baking the eggplant (Step 1)