Persepolis in Peckham is one of my all time favourite shops. What you can't buy there or learn about whilst you're shopping really isn't worth knowing. Each time I go I seem to pick up an ingredient I've never cooked with before, as well as stocking up on cupboard staples for recipes I love to cook from Sally Butcher's Veggiestan or Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's Jerusalem.
A rather large packet of moghrabieh had been lurking in my cupboard for a while (I would say unopened, but I have a toddler who is rather partial to 'digging' them with his mini digger and liberally distributing them around the house). Together with an aubergine, half a jar of rather lovely chickpeas and a few lonely tomatoes they made a tasty impromptu warm salad for dinner on a cool May evening.
Serves 2 as a main meal or 4 as a light lunch.
3 tbsp olive oil (plus a little extra for the tomatoes)
1 tsp sumac
8 small tomatoes
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, halved and finely sliced
200g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
salt & black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C / 180 C (fan).
Cook the moghrabieh according the pack instructions (I cooked mine in boiling water for around 15-20 minutes).
Slice the aubergine in half lengthways and then, placing the cut side down on the chopping board, slice each half into 1cm thick semi circles. Mix with the sumac and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper and then roast for about 20-30 minutes until cooked and starting to brown (you will need to turn them over at east once during cooking).
Put the tomatoes in a small roasting dish, season and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast in the oven for 12 minutes, or until the skins are just starting to colour. Set to one side.
Place a medium frying pan over a moderate heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 1-2 minutes until they release their aroma. Add the sliced onions and cook for 7-8 minutes, until they are starting to brown, then add the chickpeas. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the ground coriander and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Mix together the cooked moghrabieh, aubergines, onions and chickpeas and chopped parsley and place on a serving plate. Top with the roasted tomatoes and their juices. Serve warm or at room temperature.