The spicy flavours of cinammon and allspice make this a warming winter vegetarian supper
● 24 baby aubergines
● 3 x 400g tinned plum tomatoes
● 1 onion, finely chopped
● 4 garlic cloves chopped
● 1 tsp cinnamon
● 1 tbsp allspice
● 200g spinach
● 3 x 400g tinned chickpeas
● ½ lemon, juiced
● 200g feta
● 2 tbsp flaked almonds
● 3 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
● 150ml olive oil
● Preheat oven to 180°C.
● Peel strips down the baby aubergines lengthways (a presentation technique that is optional) and cut crossed incisions from the base all the way to the top, without slicing all the way through. This helps the aubergine to absorb the flavour of the sauce.
● Season the baby aubergines well with salt and pepper. Shallow fry in olive oil until coloured evenly all over then transfer to a roasting tray.
● Blitz the tinned tomatoes in a blender, pour over the baby aubergine and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes.
● Once the aubergines have cooked through, but retain a bite, remove the roasting tray from the oven. Allow them to cool to a temperature that is safe to handle, and pick out from the tray, reserving the excess tomato sauce for the chickpea stew.
● Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil on a medium heat until softened. Add cinnamon and allspice and sweat for a few more minutes. Add the reserved tomato sauce from the aubergines. Simmer gently on a low heat for approximately 20 minutes.
● Crush 2tbsp of chickpeas with your hands and add to the sauce. This serves to thicken the sauce. Then add the rest of the chickpeas and spinach and simmer for another 10 minutes. Check for seasoning.
● Remove the stew from the heat, add lemon juice and stir.
● To serve, place the chickpeas in the middle of the plate, and arrange the aubergines on top, sprinkle feta, flaked almonds and roughly chopped coriander liberally.
● Drizzle with olive oil.