Using nuts to thicken a sauce is a great trick to learn. It works for dishes from all around the world - Indian curries, Spanish soups, South American stews and many more. We're using almonds today to give a creamy texture and subtle flavour to this Greek-inspired stew. Served over herb-flecked couscous and topped with feta, you'd have to be nuts not to give it a go!
Vegetable Stock Pot(ContainsCelery, Sulphites)
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Put the water (amount specified in the ingredient list) on to boil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the vegetable stock pot and stir to dissolve. Remove the root and dark green tops from the leek, cut in half lengthways and thinly slice into half moons. Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Halve, peel and finely chop the red onion into ½cm pieces.
Add the couscous to your pan of stock, remove from the heat and pop on a lid. Set it aside until everything else is ready. Halve the aubergine lengthways and chop into 1cm pieces. Put on a baking tray, drizzle over some olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Toss to coat then spread out evenly and roast on the top shelf of your oven until soft and brown, 20 mins.
Put a splash of olive oil in a frying pan on medium-low heat. Add the leek, garlic and onion. Cook until soft, about 5 mins. Stir in the tomato purée and tomato passata and continue to cook on low heat until the stew begins to thicken, 5-10 mins.
Add the green olives, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper to the stew. Once the aubergine is cooked, add that in too along with the ground almonds.
Pick the basil leaves from their stalks and finely chop (discard the stalks). Take the lid off the couscous and fluff it up with a fork. Stir through three-quarters of the basil.
Serve the couscous with the aubergine stew on top. Crumble over the feta and sprinkle on the remaining basil. Dinner time!