This delicious one-pan traybake makes a hassle-free midweek dinner - harissa baked aubergine and chickpeas with lemon and parsley, in a baked sweet potato.
Harissa is a North African spice paste, usually made with a base of chilli peppers, paprika, garlic and olive oil, plus variety of other spices which vary between regions. Its now widely available in UK supermarkets, and a fantastic way to add a splash of Moroccan mystique to your dinner in one easy dollop.
Roasting chickpeas is a new one on me, but they really are as good as everyone says! These would be fantastic as a snack or party nibble, but I particularly love this combination of the crunchy, spicy chickpeas with creamy sweet potato mash and charred aubergines.
Don't be put off by the 45 minute cooking time - this is very simple to throw together and is all cooked on just one baking tray in the oven, so you'll be spending the majority of that 45 minutes with your feet up, I promise.
What you need
Sweet potatoes You're looking for some quite large sweet potatoes that will make a meal in themselves. If you can only get hold of small ones, use three and serve one and a half per person.
Chickpeas are so good for you - packed with nutrients, fibre and protein. If you like, you can save the liquid they are tinned in which is known as 'aquafaba' and whips up just like egg white into wonderful vegan meringues, macarons and all sorts of other delicious things.
Harissa is a delicious North African spice paste. It can be quite spicy or milder, so once you have used yours once you will know whether to add more or less to suit you. Rose Harissa is also delicious - much more fragrant, for an exotic twist.
Aubergine I love the combination of aubergine and chickpeas - when roasted the aubergine has a lovely crisp at the edges, with soft insides. If you prefer, you can cut it into smaller cubes to speed up cooking time.
Parsley I like the fresh green zing of parsley here, but coriander is also a lovely pairing, or even just a little fresh mint.
Lemon The lemon really lifts this dish to the next level, don't be tempted to skip it!
Dairy-free yoghurt is a lovely way to finish the dish - make sure you use plain or unsweetened yoghurt - oat, soya or coconut all work well.
Variations on your Harissa Baked Aubergine & Chickpeas
You can use this simple all-in-one traybake recipe to make all sorts of variations:
- Stuffed Butternut Squash I sometimes use the thinner end of the butternut squash in soups or other dishes (as it is so much easier to chop up!), then scoop the seeds out of the bulbous end and use it in place of the sweet potatoes in this recipe. It is so delicious, and the skins form a lovely 'bowl' for the chickpeas and aubergine.
- Make it spicier If you like your chickpeas really spicy, add one finely sliced fresh chilli to the roasting tin.
- Make it bowl food Not everyone likes baked sweet potatoes in their skin, so if you prefer you can peel them, chop into cubes and toss through the harissa and oil with the other ingredients and roast everything together.
- Stuffed Peppers If you like the look of this recipe, you might also enjoy my Moroccan Stuffed Romano Peppers which are similar, using pointy romano peppers.
Harissa Baked Aubergine & Chickpeas with Sweet Potato
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 400 g tin chickpeas drained, rinsed and dried thoroughly
- 2 tablespoon harissa (use more or less to your own taste)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- 1 aubergine
- 1 red onion
- handful fresh parsley
- 1 lemon
- plain dairy-free yoghurt to serve (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
- Prick the sweet potatoes a few times with a sharp knife, and place them on a large baking tray in the oven.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the harissa, olive oil and tomato purée.
- Trim the aubergine and slice into rounds about 1cm thick. Peel and slice the red onion. Tip them into the bowl with the harissa.
- Add in the rinsed and dried chickpeas, season well with salt & black pepper, and toss everything until thoroughly coated.
- When the sweet potatoes have been in the oven for 10 minutes, add the aubergines & chickpeas to the same baking tray and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes.
- When the cooking time is up, check that the potatoes are cooked through by piercing with a sharp knife - they should be soft inside. If not, give them another 5-10 minutes.
- Remove everything from the oven. Split open the sweet potatoes, season and mash the flesh with a fork, then place each one on a plate.
- Leave the chickpeas, onions and aubergines on the baking tray. Scatter them with chopped parsley and squeeze over the juice of the lemon. Toss to coat evenly, then divide between the plates. Top with a dollop of dairy-free yoghurt and serve.
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