Aubergine pilaf

Aubergine pilaf

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
1 large aubergine
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 onion
2 plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons pine nuts
200g long-grain rice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons currants
300ml water
bunch flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oven to 200°C. Cut the aubergine into 2–3 cm cubes and place them in a bowl. Drizzle over enough olive oil to coat the cubes, then sprinkle over a little salt and toss together, using your hands. Spread the aubergine cubes out over a large baking sheet and roast for 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown at the edges.
  2. Halve, peel and dice the onion. Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a deep frying pan (that has a lid) and sweat the onion over a low heat until soft. Meanwhile, blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds, then refresh in cold water, dry, peel and dice; set aside.
  3. When the onion is soft, increase the heat until it starts to brown, then add the pine nuts and continue to cook until the pine nuts also start to brown. Now add the rice, cinnamon and allspice and stir so that all the grains are coated in the oil. Add the sugar and cook gently for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the currants and water to the pan. Season well with salt and pepper and stir briefly to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cover with a lid and simmer very gently for 8–10 minutes, or until the rice is just tender. Roughly chop enough parsley leaves to give you about 2–3 tablespoons.
  5. When the rice is tender, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the aubergine, tomatoes and chopped parsley. Cover the pan again and leave to steam for 10 minutes. Spread the pilaf out on a plate to cool. Serve at room temperature, as an accompaniment to lamb or chicken.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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