A few tablespoons of Tahini in the sauce, soft sweet potatoes and tender aubergines, contribute to make this stew comforting and easy-to-make. However the combination of pulpy ingredients should not be an excuse for a happy mush. I found that baby aubergines keep their shape when cooked; chose them. You may decide to go for a large aubergine which you would cube, but it will melt in the cooking and won’t look as good. I also picked the pink variety of sweet potato because it adds colour. Combine the olives last as they too can bleed into the sauce and give it a murky hue.
- 8 baby aubergines, cut in half with their skin
- 2 sweet potatoes, quartered and then halved
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 bay leaves
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- olive oil
- sea salt
- 4 tablespoons tahini
- the juice of 3 limes
- 10 pitted black olives
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
- a few chives, chopped
- Trim the aubergines, remove the calyx but leave some of the stem. Cut in half, brush with oil and season with salt.
- Cover an oven tray with baking paper and place in the oven at 180C for 20 to 25 minutes, until the aubergines feel soft.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive in a deep pan and sauté them with a pinch of salt until they soften. Add the garlic and cook on low to medium heat for another minute or so.
- Add the sweet potato wedges. Cook and toss them for about 10 minutes. Remove the roasted aubergines from the oven and add them to the mixture.
- Sprinkle and stir the spices.
- Pour the vegetable stock over and bring to a boil. Once it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, lift aubergines and potatoes out of the pot and keep them warm.
- Stir the tahini into the sauce, increase the heat and bring to a slow boil. Cook the sauce until it begins to thicken.
- Stir in the limejuice and the olives and return the vegetables to the pot. Simmer for 5 more minutes to combine the flavours.
- Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving garnished with pine nuts and chives.