Life

James Street South Cookery School: Aubergines with pomegranate; chicken & beans

Niall McKenna's fantastic looking aubergines with pomegranate

AS THE weather begins to warm up – or we remember last week’s heatwave with fondness – we look to lighter meals. This aubergine dish is currently on our menu at The Bar & Grill as it provides an interesting option for a vegetarian main course and people love it as it's really tasty. When I start to fire up the barbecue at home over the coming months this will be a great dish as a side and accompaniment.

 

The chicken and beans dish is incredibly simple and easy for one of your failsafe 30-minute supper dishes to pull out of the bag at home. Using store-cupboard ingredients with some herbs and lemon is a really easy way to liven up dishes at home.

AUBERGINES WITH POMEGRANATE

(Serves 4)

 

3 aubergines

½ lemon, juiced

1 tblsp Tahini

3 tblsp olive oil, plus extra for cooking

2 sprigs mint, finely diced

1 pomegranate, sliced with seeds removed

salt and fresh black pepper

 

Place one of the aubergines on a naked flame – this will work on a gas hob – and brown using tongs, for no longer than five minutes, until blackened all over. Place in tinfoil and leave to cool.

 

Cut the remaining two aubergines in half lengthways; slice in thin lengths. Season with salt and pepper. The aubergine in tinfoil should be cool now so remove it, scoop out the flesh and place in a blender with the tahini, lemon juice and a good glug of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and once smooth transfer to a clean bowl.

 

Brush the lengths of aubergine with olive oil and place over the white coals of a barbecue or on a griddle pan and cook for 2-3 minutes each side, turning occasionally. You want to make sure that the aubergine is soft in the middle so check constantly and if it requires another minute or two on the heat be careful not to burn it.

 

To serve, place the griddled aubergine on a large flat serving plate, drizzle over the tahini and aubergine dressing and scatter the pomegranate seeds, the mint and season to taste. I always finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

 

CHICKEN AND BEANS

(Serves 2)

 

2 chicken breasts

2 tins haricot beans, drained

olive oil

sprig of thyme, leaves removed from stalk

500ml chicken stock

½ lemon, juiced

2 stems parsley, chopped

 

Start by seasoning your chicken with salt and pepper. Place a pan on the hob and add a splash of oil. Place the chicken skin side down and brown; turn over and cook on the other side. Drain the tins of beans and add them to the pan with the thyme, chicken stock and the lemon juice.

 

Bring the stock to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and leave for 10 minutes to cook through. Remove from the pan, sprinkle the chicken with parsley and serve.

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