- 100ml olive oil, plus extra for brushing
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 2 onions, halved and finely sliced
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 500g aubergine, cut into long 5mm thick slices
Although it's technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a…
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 5 tbsp tomato purée
- 10 vine-ripened plum tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
- pinch of sugar
Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…
- 1 bunch dill, finely chopped
- 2 tsp dried mint
There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…
- dash of red wine vinegar
- 1 pack filo pastry (14 sheets)
- 100g butter, melted
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 100g medjool dates, stoned and finely sliced
- 50g flaked almonds
- 200g feta, crumbled
A creamy soft white cheese with an ancient history - nomadic tribes who needed to preserve the…
- 6 tbsp clear honey
- houmous, to serve
A staple of Middle Eastern diets, this is a purée of cooked chickpeas, flavoured with tahini (a…
- dressed green leaves, to serve
- parsley, to serve
One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…
- chopped Kalamata olives, to serve
Widely grown all over the Mediterranean, where they've been cultivated since biblical times…
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pan over a low heat and sauté the onions until softened and sticky – this can take up to 30 mins.
Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until very hot. Brush a few of the aubergine slices with a little oil, sprinkle with sea salt and cook over a high heat until well charred and cooked through, 5-7 mins, turning halfway through cooking. Lift onto kitchen paper and cook the remaining slices.
Add the garlic, cinnamon and tomato purée to the onions and cook for a further 2 mins. Add the tomatoes, sugar, dill, mint, vinegar and a generous pinch of sea salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 mins until thickened. Adjust the seasoning to taste and allow to cool. Can be made up to 2 days ahead.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Unfold the pastry and cover with a damp cloth to prevent it drying out. Brush a baking tray (about 30 x 20cm) with melted butter. Line the tray with a sheet of filo (cut to fit if too big), brush with butter and repeat until you have a 6-layer thickness. Spread half the tomato mixture over the pastry, top with half each of the dates, almonds and feta, and cover with half of the aubergine slices. Sandwich another 4 layers of filo together with melted butter and place on top of the aubergines. Top with the remaining tomato mixture, dates, feta and aubergines. Sandwich the remaining 4 filo sheets together as before and place on top.
Lightly score the top, cutting into diamonds about 5 x 10cm. Brush with the remaining butter, splash with a little water and cook for 35-45 mins or until golden. Leave to cool a little before serving, then drizzle each portion with a little honey. Serve with houmous and a bowl of mixed green leaves, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, with flat-leaf parsley leaves and chopped Kalamata olives.