Category Archives: harissa

Spicy Chickpea, Harissa and Aubergine Stew


Along with the bananas I have a fridge full of slightly wrinkled vegetables that really should have been eaten a week ago.  Rescued an aubergine, beat it unconscious on the kitchen counter-top, sliced and liberally salted it, then left the twitching remains in a colander for 40 minutes.

(I’ve heard that modern aubergines are bred to remove the “bitter” taste these days, with salting no longer necessary, but whenever I’ve omitted this step I’ve ended up eating lovingly-cooked spicy car tyre so I faithfully maintain The Old Ways).

Original from a recipe at the Daily Fail, which I’m not going to link to because it’s the Fail.  Feel free to go look for it on the website, if you can stand an entire sidebar of Semi Famous Women who are being accused of “flaunting their curves” when they’ve had the temerity to pop out for a pint of milk.


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What a great word.  Sounds like an insult. OI! FATTOUSH!!

But thankfully for everyone’s feelings it’s actually just a kind of Eastern Mediterranean salad, ideal for using up slightly dry/stale bread.  Which was handy as I had 2/3rds of a baton of good quality white bread to use up, just in time for a family BBQ.

Wikipedia has some nice traditional variations on the dish listed; the one I made today is based round a Jack Monroe recipe.


(no photo unfortunately as we ate most of it)


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Black Bean Thursday


Apologies for not commenting for a few days – work became CHAOS AND MAD STUFF so I’m somewhat knackered. Can I also give a very British “ALRIGHT MATE!!” to the people who have kindly popped up and ‘liked’ my posts.  Welcome aboard – hope you’ve brought a brolly, the weather’s a little changeable here!

On the plus side, lack of time/energy means I’ve been working on perfecting the ‘Mack the Knife’ recipe, because it’s a very quick option for when I stagger in through the front door of an evening; just grill for a few minutes each side until browned, plus bread/salad/baked potato/marinated slow-grilled hedgehog* or other side order of your choice.  Healthy dinner with minimum feckering-about.  This evening reached a peak of scientific experimentation with the following fillet combinations on the grill simultaneously; quorn chicken** fillet layered with tahini then soft cheese and breadcrumbs/oat mixture, fillet layered with tomato puree and harissa paste mix then soft cheese etc, and fillet layered with sundried tomato paste then soft cheese etc…..

The verdict so far is that tahini mixed with a little lemon juice and black pepper could be The Way Forward for this version.  The tomato puree/harissa paste needed more tomato and less harissa (admittedly, given how powerful harissa is, you might have to go down to the sub-atomic level for the appropriate harissa balance). The sun-dried tomato paste version works well As Is and I will certainly not be considering replacing the chicken with finely sliced mozzarella cheese AT ALL……*gibbers*

*the British version of the porcupine. Shy, retiring, likes snails, slugs, dark safe places to hibernate through the winter, and a nice cup of tea.

**quorn (mycoprotein fillets, but insert soy-protein or tofu or other fillets as availability and and personal preference allows).