Lavender. Heady clumps of purple perfume! I have them growing in our garden next to the rosemary. It’s in the soap I bought from the farmer’s market. It’s in my cupboard, in little gingham pouches. And in my cup of tea this afternoon.
The ‘ding dong’ flowers. Everyday, we cross these purple bell-shaped wildflowers on our walks. We call them the ding-dong flowers. Chotto-ma stops to give the bells a little shake, says hello to the bees inside, and then we walk on. It’s one of our many daily rituals.
Purple pancakes. I found my daughter cooking a very well-balanced meal for her stuffed animals today. Pancakes, tomatoes and green beans. The tomatoes were red, the green beans were green, but the pancakes were purple. Her first purple pancakes, made on the very day that I was writing this post! What are the odds.
And aubergines. Stuffed with minced lamb, pine nuts and feta. If you haven’t made friends with an aubergine, do it with this dish. I’ve come across many variations of this recipe – Lebanese, Greek, Turkish. This is my adaptation, with very moorish spices.
Aubergine stuffed with minced lamb, pine nuts & feta
2 small aubergines, halved lengthwise
250 gms minced lamb
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3 tbs pine nuts, roasted
100 gms feta cheese, crumbled
The lamb stuffing:
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the onion, garlic and lamb. Saute on high heat for a few minutes till the lamb and onions are slightly brown. Lower the heat.
Add the tomato, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, black pepper and salt. Give it a good stir. Cover and cook till the lamb is done. Increase the heat for a couple of minutes to dry up the juices, if there is any.
Take the lamb off the heat. Stir in the parsley and half of the pine-nuts.Cover and keep aside.The stuffing for your aubergine is ready.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/356°F.
Drizzle the halved aubergines with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Place the aubergines on a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes, till soft.
Take the aubergines out of the oven, and carefully scoop out the flesh. Dice the flesh very coarsely, and mix it with the cooked lamb.
Now fill the aubergine ‘shells’ with the mix, top with feta and the remaining pine-nuts, and serve.