We are constantly being told we should eat more legumes and with so many people becoming vegetarian or vegan there is always an interest in these dishes. With canned chickpeas and tomatoes readily available, this becomes an easy dish to prepare.

The couscous accompaniment is an interesting and nutritious addition to the meal.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Juice of 3 lemons
1 medium white onion, peeled and sliced thinly from tip to root
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 small aubergines (eggplant), cubed
1 TB Moroccan seasoning (available from supermarkets)
1 x 400gr canned tomatoes
1 cup well flavoured vegetable stock (home-made or commercial)
1 x 400gr can prepared chickpeas

COUSCOUS ACCOMPANIMENT

2 cups couscous
2 TB currants
Zest from 2 oranges
1 TB virgin olive oil
2-3 TB toasted pine nuts

METHOD

Combine juice of 2 lemons, onion and garlic in a large saucepan.  Cook over moderate heat for about 3 minutes or until slightly softened.

Add the cubed eggplant and the Moroccan seasoning and toss together for a minute or two over moderate heat.  Add tomatoes, with juice, and stock and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat, cover saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Drain and rinse chickpeas and stir into other ingredients.  While the chickpeas etc. are simmering, follow packet instructions to cook the couscous.  Stir in the currants, orange zest, olive oil and pine nuts and mix well.

To serve, spoon a portion of the couscous mixture onto warmed plates, top with the chickpea casserole and serve at once.  Middle Eastern bread is great for any mopping up!

 Ann Creber

(The Good Life on 3MDR 97.1fm, streaming on www.3mdr.com – every Monday 3.00-5.00 P.M.)