Easy Roast Tomato and Aubergine with Chickpeas

These days I am so busy back being a student there is little to no time for cooking at home! Thank goodness I get to cook half the day at school or I would be going crazy.

Speaking of students – my brother-in-law, who just started university, has asked for some cheap, simple recipes with little washing up. He can already cook basically anything but I hope this dish of tomatoes and aubergine (eggplant) will add some vitamins to his friend’s repertoire! I remember what I ate at university – a whole lot of grilled cheese… I mean a whole lot. Like, everyday.

The easiest thing to cook while at university other than grilling a sandwich with an iron is probably cous cous. You can make it using just a kettle and a bowl and by chance it’s the perfect accompaniment to this dish, which is cheap, easy, vegetarian and full of flavour. Oh and only one roasting tin used!

Roast Tomato and Aubergine with Chickpeas

Serve with Cous Cous

Serves 2 or 1 seriously hungry person

Ingredients

1 eggplant/aubergine
4-5 medium tomatoes or roughly 200g+ cherry tomatoes, off their stems
1 head of garlic
olive oil
1-2 teaspoons cumin
1 can chickpeas
salt and pepper
1/2 lemon

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For the Cous Cous

1 coffee mug of cous cous
1/4 lemon
1/2 stock cube

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°c/350°f

Quarter tomatoes and cut eggplants into relative size chunks according to size of tomatoes. You want even sizes here. Juice the lemon.

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Peel garlic – here is a tip that will change your life if you have a microwave:

Top Tip: As learned from Cooks Illustrated – If you want skins off garlic for a recipe, pop the whole head of garlic in the microwave for 20 seconds. the cloves will pop out of their skins due to the steam breaking the membrane. The garlic will be slightly less pungent but will still taste great.

Put all veggies in a roasting tin and toss evenly with olive oil, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper to your taste. I use lots of black pepper because I’m a fiend for it.

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Roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until the eggplant/aubergine is at the desired texture, and the garlic is soft. Add the chickpeas for the final 10 minutes to heat through. If things look too dry, add a little water to loosen things up, just a splash though or you’ll lose flavour, and mix it all together in the tin to make it a little saucy. You can leave it in the oven to heat back through.

Meanwhile make cous cous – A standard coffee mug full of dry cous cous will usually serve 2 people as a side, so you might want a bit more for this, maybe 3/4 of a coffee mug.

Boil the kettle and pour boiling water over desired quantity of cous cous, with about a centimeter or half inch covering it. Pour in a splash of olive oil (1 tsp per serving roughly) and a half a stock cube (melted in a little water first) or salt and pepper to taste. Don’t put in salt AND the stock cube. You’ll shrivel up like a slug.

Cover the bowl with a plate and allow to soak for 10 minutes or until your tomato and eggplant are done. Squeeze in some lemon and fluff with a fork. Add more salt and pepper to taste if you want. Spoon the roast tomato and aubergine with chickpeas over the cous cous.

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You’ll see I’ve served the chickpeas separately in tomato sauce here, but chucking the chickpeas into the roast tomato and aubergine for the last 10 minutes means one less dish to wash. You can also grill a couple of mackeral fillets, sprinkled with salt and lemon, and serve them on top for a fancier dish. Around 5 minutes under the hot grill, skin side down in the pan and keep checking until the fish flesh just starts to flake. There, that aught to do it! I hope that’s a nice change from grilled cheese…

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