Stuffed Bulgur Eggplant with Chermoula

Higgidy

STUFFED BULGUR AUBERGINE WITH CHERMOULA

Recipe by Higgidy.

This Stuffed Bulgur Eggplant with Chermoula is the modern, Middle Eastern equivalent of the filled jacket potato, using velvety, soft eggplants instead of spuds.

SERVES 4

4 eggplants
3–4 tablespoons of good-quality olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the bulgur salad
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion or 2 small, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon paprika
2 cups vegetable stock
1 heaping cup bulgur wheat
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

For the chermoula
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 heaping tablespoon cilantro, roughly chopped
1 heaping tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Scant 1/2 cup olive oil
teaspoon salt, or more to taste if needed
freshly ground black pepper

1. First, make the bulgur salad. Heat a large frying pan over high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for 1–2 minutes, then stir in the garlic and paprika.

2. Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the bulgur wheat and gently cook for 8–10 minutes until the grains have plumped up and are cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir through the red onion mixture and parsley. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, make the chermoula. Heat a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, add the cumin and coriander seeds and cook for 2 minutes until just toasted. Transfer to a small mixing bowl, add the remaining chermoula ingredients, and mix to combine. Season to taste then set aside.

4. Preheat the oven to its hottest setting and, once it is roasting hot, turn it to the grill setting. Pierce each eggplant twice with a small, sharp knife. Place on a baking sheet under the grill, with the oven door closed, for 25 minutes or until the eggplant skin is black and the flesh is collapsed and soft, using tongs to turn halfway through this time. Remove from the oven, then slice each hot eggplant lengthways down the center, being careful not to cut all the way through, and split open. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and season with sea salt and some pepper.

5. Serve the eggplants heaped with a spoonful of the bulgur wheat salad and a spoonful of chermoula.

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