17.07.2019
You can use WP menu builder to build menus

25.06.2019

No ratings yet
4

A tasty, summery pasta dish with aubergine (eggplant) and cherry tomatoes that are first roasted in a garlicky olive oil and sundried tomato paste. A scattering of halloumi added to the vegetables half way through, gives the pasta extra bursts of salty deliciousness.

Roast Aubergine (Eggplant) and Cherry Tomato Pasta with Halloumi Cheese www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: top view of ingredients on a wooden surface. A small bowl of uncooked pasta, a tomato, cherry tomatoes, garlic, aubergines (eggplant) and a small bowl with the olive oil and sundried tomato mixture. At the bottom of the image a chopping board with some hands cutting an aubergine.

Have you guys heard of briam? Briam is a Greek version of ratatouille and it consists of summer vegetables such as courgettes (zucchini), aubergines (eggplant), potatoes, onion, tomato and sometimes peppers and carrots. The vegetables are roasted in lots of olive oil until soft, browned and slightly caramelized. It’s a dish so simple in its ingredients, but so amazing in its flavours.

Roast Aubergine (Eggplant) and Cherry Tomato Pasta with Halloumi Cheese www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: top view of raw vegetables in a baking dish. To the top of the photo some cherry tomatoes and a box grater (barely visible) and to the bottom a bunched up linen napkin and a small bowl of uncooked pasta.

And just in case you were wondering, yes it can be made in the slow cooker! Here is one version, and I have a more traditional version coming up in the book! (What do you mean which book?? This book! Take a look!)

Roast Aubergine (Eggplant) and Cherry Tomato Pasta with Halloumi Cheese www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: top view of vegetables in baking dish. Above the dish are some hands grating a tomato on an old fashioned box grater.

I’ve always liked mixing briam leftovers with cooked pasta, and that was what gave me the idea for this dish. Briam isn’t normally roasted in a mixture like the olive oil and sundried tomato paste I’ve used here, and it also doesn’t usually feature cherry tomatoes. So it’s mainly the concept I’ve used, rather than a similar recipe. Using only aubergine and tomato meant that I had to give the overall flavour a bit of a boost, so garlic, olive oil and sundried (or just plain dried) tomato were the perfect solution, as they offer a lot of umami to the final dish.

Roast Aubergine (Eggplant) and Cherry Tomato Pasta with Halloumi Cheese www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: top view of vegetables (aubergine and cherry tomatoes) in a baking dish, roasted until soft. In one corner of the photo a bunch of Queen Anne’s Lace flowers. Beside the baking dish a small chopping board with a knife and some parsley.

Halloumi is one of my favourite cheeses, so I couldn’t resist adding some to the vegetables while they were roasting. Halloumi is usually fried, but you know what? Frying can easily toughen it. Roasting it (for a shorter time than the veg of course) keeps it more tender but still as tasty. Now, over the past few months I’ve been making an effort to cut down on cheese and dairy, so if I was making this for just a weeknight meal I might omit the cheese and maybe use a sprinkling of plant-based “parmesan” instead (here is one you could try if you want). That would make this dish 100% plant-based.

Roast Aubergine (Eggplant) and Cherry Tomato Pasta with Halloumi Cheese www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: top view of vegetables (aubergine and cherry tomatoes) in a baking dish, roasted until soft. Boiled pasta has been added on top, in one corner of the dish, ready to be mixed in.

Ok, so over on the Greek side of the post, I asked readers if they knew anything about the flower in the pictures. It’s a weed that grows absolutely everywhere in my area. The stalks can grow super tall (I’m talking human height) and the flower looks a bit like a flying saucer. From the little research I did I found that it’s called Queen Anne’s Lace, or daucus carota, or… wait for it… wild carrot! It apparently belongs to the carrot family and they say you can eat the roots and flowers?! Can that be true? There is so much of it everywhere, why are we not using it? Have I maybe made a big mistake and confused this with something else? If you know anything about this plant please let me know, because my curiosity may well get the better of me and I don’t want to poison myself by trying to cook something I shouldn’t!

Roast Aubergine (Eggplant) and Cherry Tomato Pasta with Halloumi Cheese www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: Three quarter view of plates filled with pasta, one of them with a small bunch of roasted cherry tomatoes on top. In the background a jug with Queen Anne’s Lace flowers.

And on that note, off I go. Lots going on! I will tell you more about it soon.

Roast Aubergine (Eggplant) and Cherry Tomato Pasta with Halloumi Cheese www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: Top view of three plates of pasta on a wooden surface. In one corner of the image is a linen napkin and in another are some forks. On one side (barely visible) is a small chopping board with parsley and a knife.

Ingredients

600 gr aubergine (eggplant), cut into smallish pieces (I used the graffiti variety which is sweeter)

600 gr cherry or acorn tomatoes, whole

4 cloves of garlic, large

90 ml (6 Tbs) olive oil + extra if needed

1 ½ tsp red wine vinegar

2 ½ tsp tomato paste

15 gr sundried or dried tomato (if packed in oil make sure it’s dry)

1 ½ tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

150 gr tomato (about 1 medium sized)

225 gr halloumi cheese, cubed

350 gr pasta (I used a Greek pasta similar to strozzapreti, but you can use any medium sized pasta, fusilli would work well)

freshly cracked black pepper to serve

chopped parsley to serve

Step 1

Preheat oven to 180C fan assisted (200C conventional) and put the aubergine and cherry tomatoes in a medium sized baking dish (mine is 30x30cm).

Step 2

Put the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, tomato paste, sundried tomato, oregano, salt and pepper in a small food processor and whizz until smooth. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.

Step 3

Grate the tomato over the baking dish so that the pulp and juice fall on to the vegetables. The skin should mostly stay in your hand, discard it or snack on it which is what I do! Mix everything with your fingers so that the veg is covered evenly. Roast for about 20 minutes.

Step 4

Open the oven and scatter the halloumi cubes over the veg. Continue roasting for another 10-20 minutes. Time will depend on the size of your dish and the strength of your oven. You want the veg and cheese to brown a little, soften and wilt (the tomatoes will burst).

Step 5

In the meantime boil the pasta according to package instructions. Drain keeping half a cup of the water. If the vegetables still need some time, put the pasta back in its pot and drizzle in a teaspoon of olive oil. Shake the pan to coat the pasta and set aside.

Step 6

When the vegetables are ready take the dish out of the oven, add the pasta and mix gently to coat in the juice. If the veg was dry, add (before the pasta) an extra tablespoon of olive oil and/or 2-3 tablespoons of the cooking water. You just want enough to create some juice in the dish.

Step 7

Serve the pasta with freshly ground pepper and some chopped parsley for a bit of freshness.

No ratings yet

So, what do you think? Leave me a comment!

No comments yet