Ingredients checklist
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Spicy Chickpea Spinach Aubergine Roses on a bed of Roasted Red Pepper Harissa Sauce With Pearled Cous Cous Jewels

1 hour 25 minutes
1 hour 25 minutes

How beautiful are these aubergine roses and how gorgeous would this look on your X’mas table?

Let me tell you guys… this one really was not just a pretty plate, the flavours just worked so gorgeously together, spinach and chickpeas cooked in a warming spicy tomato sauce, encased around soft charred aubergine which I curled up at the ends to make pretty roses.  

The roses sat on top of a sauce made from jarred roasted red peppers, oven roasted tomatoes, garlic, parmesan, harissa paste and a touch of cream cheese, extra lusciousness (is that a word??) all finished off with a sprinkling of pearled cous cous jewels.  SIMPLY DIVINE!!! 

  1. Brush the aubergine slices liberally with olive oil, season with salt and pepper then grill on a hot griddle pan or BBQ until soft and slightly charred, set aside
  2. Pre-heat grill/broiler 200C
  3. Place tomatoes on a lined oven tray, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill for 10 minutes until soft 
  4. In a food processor blitz the tomatoes with all the other sauce ingredients and set aside
  5. In a saucepan on medium heat add a glug of olive oil and sauté the spinach until wilted, drain any excess water and set aside
  6. Wipe down the same saucepan and heat on medium with another glug of olive oil, then add the bread cubes and almonds, toast until golden and slightly charred
  7. Then add the garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and sauté for a few minutes until the garlic is golden
  8. Tip the contents of the pan into a food processor along with the red wine vinegar and blitz for a few seconds into a thick paste
  9. Return the paste to the saucepan adding in the chickpeas and the passata, thin the sauce out with a little water (about 40-50ml, more if needed) and then add in the wilted spinach, salt and pepper, stir until all combined and heated through
  10. To assemble, tip the red pepper sauce into the serving dish and spread evenly 
  11. Take 2 slices of charred aubergine and form into an upright circle, fill with as much of the spinach and chickpea mixture as possible and set on top of the sauce.  Curl the ends so they look like rose petals and repeat this process with the remaining aubergine slices
  12. Finally sprinkle with the pearled cous cous, some flaked sea salt and a grinding of black pepper
  13. Enjoy!