While in South Africa, my culinary curiosity was taken to a whole new level. I even received a fun cookbook by Evita Bezuidenhout for my birthday. I am excited to test out some of her veg friendly recipes!
The meal I made tonight is a very special one. Being abroad, one often lacks a satisfying, filled with love, home cooked meal. When my friend asked if I was keen on aubergine, my heart skipped a beat. “Um, yes I am keen on aubergine.” I waited as patiently as possible for the meal to be complete. I noticed the beautiful presentation right away; the harmony of the red tomatoes, white feta, dark kalamata olives, and green parsley made it look almost too pretty to eat. As I took my first bite, I savored the salty and earthy flavors. I was hooked. I asked where he came up with the recipe and I was told it’s from Macedonia and is something many of the peasants would eat. I never thought the meal I’d enjoy the most in South Africa would be from Macedonia…go figure.
Since I didn’t see how it was made, we (luckily) had the dish again. This time I was sous chef and got the scoop. We didn’t really measure much, so I am doing my best with how I eyeballed everything.
- 3-4 aubergines
- olive oil
- onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1 can of cherry tomatoes (I used plum, make sure they’re peeled; reserve the sauce), chopped
- 1/2 c pitted kalamata olives, chopped
- feta cheese
- fresh parsley
- Make a few slits in the aubergines and add them to a large pot of boiling water. Cover. Cook until tender. Drain them to let them cool
- Preheat oven to 350F (or about 180C)
- Sauté onion and garlic in a generous amount of oil. Once onions are translucent, add the spices
- Next, add tomatoes, olives, and a small handful of chopped parsley. Pour in some of the sauce from the canned tomatoes. I like mine less saucy and more chunky, so I didn’t add as much. Remove the sauce from the heat
- Use a cookie sheet and coat with oil. Make two large slits on the left and right side of each aubergine. Stuff the sauce into the slits. Sprinkle with feta and chopped parsley
- Bake for 10-15 minutes