I haven't had aubergines this year, its a vegetable that nowadays evokes greedy thoughts of my mothers Baingan Bharta - Smoky Aubergine; or middle eastern cuisine, so it may not be a surprise that at the weekend I made a Middle Eastern inspired meal when I brought home a couple of gorgeous two tone deep maroon aubergines, next to them were some bunches of coriander, so I picked some of that too.
Still unsure exactly what I was going to make with the aubergines, I gazed into my kitchen cupboards when my eyes fell upon a packet of Zaytoun Smoky Freekah that I got last month from Suma Wholefoods and this dish of Smoky Freekah with Roasted Aubergines and Chickpeas was created.
The Smoky Freekah comes from Zaytoun. Zaytoun is a social enterprise founded in 2004 to create and develop a UK market for artisan fairly traded Palestinian produce that carries the stories of 'the producers and their land'. Zaytoun are celebrating their 10 year anniversary this year. I've been fortunate in the past to try some of their products including organic extra virgin olive oil, wild grown za'atar and more recently maftoul. I will share more later in the week, but today its all about the smoky greenwheat grain called Freekah. The Zaytoun freekah was really smoky in flavour and infused the oven roasted aubergines naturally.
You know I don't boast about my food that often, I just make it, eat it and share it with my bloggers, but I have to hand on heart say that this is one of the most delicious meals that I have ever made and enjoyed; and the truth is down to the ingredients namely the smoky freekah from Zaytoun.
The Smoky Freekah dish was accompanied with a Palestinian, I was originally going to make a Tahini Sauce to accompany this dish, but decided on a Palestinian Salatat Taheena - Tahini Salad. This salad was made not only to compliment the dish, but the fact was that I also had most of the ingredients to hand. I also think it could have done with some vegetable based falafels for additional texture, maybe next time.
The recipe for the Smoky Freekeh with Roasted Aubergines and Chickpeas is really simple. So forgive me for not writing a recipe, but I will if you so wish.
While the freekeh was cooking on the hob, yes I used the whole packet which serves 6 - 8 with accompaniments, I diced a couple of large aubergines into bite size pieces and roasted them in the oven with a little sea salt and olive oil. I minced the fresh coriander (and a red onion for bite) and drained/rinsed a can of chickpeas. When the freekah was cooked, I transferred all the ingredients to a big bowl including the aubergines that were soft and lightly roasted and gave it all a good stir to combine well. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve immediately. Enjoy hot or at room temperature.
As a member of the Suma Bloggers Network, I will receive a selection of complimentary products from Suma Wholefoods every two months, to use in recipe development and will blog original recipes for the Network.