Life in the Mediterranean brings all the glories: the sun, the sea and the well-documented nutritious diet filled with savoury favourites such as olives oil and hummus. While most countries in the area have been removed from the UK’s safe travel list (hang in there, Greece), send your tastebuds on a savoury trip instead.
These stuffed aubergines are high in magnesium, while fresh quinoa and sharp sun-dried tomatoes promote muscle recovery and energy balance. Nasunin, the pigment responsible for aubergine’s purple skin, is also a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to protect cells against damage.
While they can’t promise 30C+ temperatures, they do pack in many all-important nutrients. If you close your eyes, you might just be able to hear the sound of the waves off the Sicilian coast…
4 large aubergines
250ml boiling water
150g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped, plus 2 tablespoons of oil from the jar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp harissa paste
Large handful of parsley (about 15g), roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 220°C fan.
Cut the aubergines in half and place on to a baking tray.
Score the flesh with a knife (being careful not to cut all the way through), drizzle with olive oil and salt, and roast for 35–40 minutes, until soft.
Remove from the oven once soft and leave to cool.
Turn the oven down to 180°C fan.
Cook the quinoa while the aubergines are in the oven.
Place a medium saucepan over a medium heat and add the quinoa and boiling water.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 12–15 minutes until the water has been absorbed.
Remove from the heat once cooked and leave to one side until cool.
Scrape the flesh out of the aubergines using a large spoon, and on to a board.
Roughly chop into pieces, then put into a large bowl.
Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, pine nuts, harissa and quinoa. Season with a large pinch of salt and pepper.
Scoop equal amounts of the mixture back into each aubergine skin using a tablespoon.
Place them back on the baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle the parsley on top before serving.
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