Why does everyone need to see me before Christmas? It’s not like I’m going to spontaneously combust in the New Year. It’s only a few days into December and already I’m in such a constant state of hangovery I could cry – and then I did…
“… it’s because you weren’t paying attention and now look what you’ve done!” The customer behind me pointed to the box of eggs that had fallen off the conveyor belt and smashed all over the floor.
“Why should I pay attention? It’s not a test!” I said as I attempted to scrape up raw egg with my bare hands into a 5p plastic bag… “and besides, they’re not even YOUR eggs, they’re MINE, so why do you care?”
“I care because now someone has to come and clean up YOUR mess, simply because you weren’t paying attention,” he spat angrily down at me.
“SO??!!! It’s not like I’m running around Waitrose throwing eggs about the place you grumpy old sod.”
“Would you like me to get you another box of eggs madam?” asked the rather bored looking cashier.
“No, no, it’s fine,” I say angrily brushing my hair back from my face, forgetting my hand was coated in raw egg. “I’m worried if you do, this man might murder me… ” The man didn’t murder me, but he looked like he was about to – especially when I wished him a Merry Christmas on my departure.
Feeling smug, I got into my car and rang Jamie, ready to have a good old rant but, as soon as he answered the phone, something peculiar happened. I started squeaking and sobbing down the phone, about the mean egg man in Waitrose.
Anyway, enough about eggs – I broke mine, so this aubergine and chickpea stew is eggless. With warm cinnamon and spicy undertones, this stew is definitely one to curl up on the sofa with on a cold winter’s eve.
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Aubergine & chickpea stew
Serves 4 / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 1 hr / V Vn Gf Df ❄
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
1 white onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbs tomato puree
2 aubergines, cut into large chunks
6 medium sized tomatoes, cut into eighths or 1 tin of good quality chopped tomatoes
1 can tinned chickpeas, drained
500ml vegetable stock, I use Knorr stock pots
3 bay leaves
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dried parsley
100ml *vegan red wine
Handful of fresh mint leaves
Greek or dairy free yogurt (optional)
Drizzle of Pomora extra virgin olive oil
Serve with crusty bread or couscous
- Finely chop the onion and the garlic and add them to a large cooking pot with a teaspoon of oil. Over a medium heat, sweat the onions, garlic and salt for around 5 mins or until softened (if the onions are getting a little too much colour, add a dash of water to the pot to help them to steam).
- Add the cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika and cinnamon before giving it a good stir. Add a little water to the mix if it’s looking a little dry and cook for 2 mins.
- Add the tomato puree and the wine and cook until most of the wine has absorbed before adding the tomatoes, stock, aubergine, chickpeas, bay leaves and dried parsley. Give it a good mix and season to taste. Bring to the boil.
- Turn the heat down to a simmer, pop the lid on a jar and cook for 15 mins stirring occasionally. After 15 mins, remove thew lid and continue to cook for a further 15 mins. Meanwhile, use this time to prepare your chosen accompaniment – I like to serve it with couscous or with a loaf of crusty bread on warmer days and mashed potato on colder ones.
- Take the stew off the heat and carefully pick out the bay leaves. Divide into bowls along your chosen accompaniment, a generously sprinkle of fresh mint and a dollop of yogurt (optional). Drizzle with extra virgin love oil and serve.
If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.
V– Vegetarian Vn– Vegan Gf– Gluten free Df– Dairy free ❄– Cool fully before freezing. Consume within 3 months.
*Most wines are unfortunately not vegetarian or vegan, due to products used in the ‘fining’ process. Wine makers are also under no obligation to disclose if they have used animal products on the label. Vegetarian and vegan wines are available in most supermarkets.