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Warm aubergine, tomato and shallot freekeh salad

Freekah is a nutritious and flavourful Middle Eastern whole grain similar to bulgur wheat and a perfect substitute for rice, quinoa or couscous.

This aubergine salad uses a magical combination of warming spices to transport you to sunnier climes. What a treat!

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

You’ll need:

1 400g bag echalion shallots, peeled and halved

4 small or 2 large aubergine

1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

400g vine cherry tomatoes

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp Baharat (middle eastern spice mix)

4tbsp olive oil

50g flat leaf parsley leaves

250g ready-cooked freekeh

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Line a large roasting tin with baking parchment and put the shallots and aubergines in the tin, sprinkle with the paprika and drizzle with the olive oil and give the tray a shake to mix.  Prick the aubergines a few times with a sharp knife then cover the tin with foil and roast in the hot oven for an hour.

Remove the foil.  If there is a lot of cooking liquid in the bottom of the tin, pour most of it off and add the cherry tomatoes to the tin. Roast for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes have split.

For the dressing, combine the crushed garlic, vinegar and Baharat with the olive oil. Finely chop a small handful of the parsley and stir in.

Heat the freekeh according to pack instructions. Gently fold in the shallots, tomatoes and remaining parsley, along with any juices from the roasting tray. Serve an aubergine (or half if they are large) per person on the freekeh and shallot mixture, with the dressing spooned over.

Recipe courtesy of UK Shallots

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