Back in Rome after ten days of good Norwegian cooking: salmon, perch, cucumber salads, wonderful potatoes and lots of filter coffee (and cake). Still, it was great to swing by the fruit and veg guy here, and stock up the empty fridge: huge bell peppers, pretty little eggplants, melon and onions. Grapes have suddenly arrived too. The eggplants were the base of tonight’s dinner, which was thrown together but very nice!
Fajita-spiced stuffed aubergines
4 small or 2 large aubergines, halved
3 tbs olive oil
2 yellow onions
1 red bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp fajita spices (or mix your own: chili, salt, cumin, black pepper, oregano, paprika)
1 tsp smoked salt, or plain salt to taste
50 grammes grated cheese (generic yellow)
Adapted from Delicious magazine. I might make this again with lentils rather than sausages, but this was tasty too.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Put the aubergines on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tbs of the oil and bake for 30-35 minutes until soft. Slice the onions and bell pepper, and cook for ten minutes or so with the last tablespoon of oil until very soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the skins. Fry the sausage pieces until nicely brown, then drain on kitchen roll to remove the grease.
Take the aubergines out of the oven, and scoop out most of the flesh, leaving a thin layer next to the skin. Using a spoon worked well for me. Roughly chop the aubergine flesh and add it to the sausage, onions and bell pepper. Season with salt and fajita spices to taste. Spoon the mixture back into the aubergine skins, then scatter with the cheese. Cook for 10-15 minutes at 200C until cheese is slightly golden. Enjoy!
PS one week later: I made this again in a vegetarian version, with tinned brown lentils instead of sausages. It was really good! Onions, garlic, bell pepper, a cup of leftover cooked farro, leftover chopped broccoli, and fajita spices, all mixed with the roast aurbergine flesh and stuffed in again. Bake briefly with a little breadcrumbs on top, and enjoy!
Optional: While waiting for dinner: unpack your exciting food shopping from Norway!
People laugh at what I bring back. Let’s see: from left in the back: rye flakes, whole wheat, coarse rye flour, barley flour. Sauerkraut, and squeezy cheese in two horrendous flavours: jalapeno, and BBQ chicken. Then brown goat cheese in a tube (inferior to real thing, but very practical), kaviar (cod roe spread) and blueberry muesli. Middle row: mackerel in tomato (for sandwiches), lemon jello (for cheesecake), two kinds of the sweet brown goat cheese (geitost), potato lomper (like tortillas, but often eaten around hot dogs), fish pudding and almond essence. Finally, dessert ingredients: chocolate mousse with Dajm, ground cardamon, vanilla sauce and red fruit sauce. Plus baking powder, lingonberries and blueberries and rowan berries we picked there, not in picture. Ahhhh…… Much as I love food in Italy, it makes me SO happy to have some food from home now and then!