Aubergines, Butter Beans and Tomatoes with Halloumi and Fresh Herbs
A recipe by Charlotte Pike
Inspired by the flavours of Greece, this is a lovely summery meal to enjoy for a light lunch or supper with some pitta or flatbread, and is a fantastic accompaniment to a slow roast shoulder of lamb or butterflied leg cooked on the barbeque.
The trick for the best result is making this in a large, shallow pan, taking time to brown the aubergine nicely, seasoning generously.
5 tbsp olive oil
2 aubergines, cut into 1.5cm cubes
6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
Sea salt and plenty of black pepper
1 x 400g tin tomatoes
Half a can of water (I pour this in after the tomatoes have gone in, swirling the water around to extract all the juice from the can)
2 x 400g tins butter beans, drained and rinsed well
Pinch chilli flakes (optional)
1 pack halloumi cheese, cut into 8mm slices
Zest of a lemon and the rest cut into wedges to serve
2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp mint leaves, roughly chopped
Place the oil into a large, shallow pan. Heat over a moderate heat and add the aubergine. Cook for at least 10 minutes, until the aubergine is nicely browned as evenly as possible and has started to soften.
Now, turn the heat down and add the garlic. Season well and stir for a minute or so until the garlic smells fragrant, but does not brown.
Now, add in the tomatoes, water and beans, followed by the chilli, if you want to use it. Stir well and allow everything to simmer away, thicken and reduce nicely. The aubergine should be very soft. This will take 20-30 minutes or so. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
When it’s nicely cooked and the seasoning is right, pan-fry the halloumi until it is golden brown on each side. Depending on your pan, you may not need oil, but some pans will need a dash of olive oil to stop it sticking. Make sure the pan is nice and hot before adding the cheese.
When the halloumi is fried, remove everything from the heat. Zest the lemon over the aubergine and beans and serve topped with haloumi and fresh herbs. The lemon wedges can be served on the side with some bread or even roast new potatoes.