Fish with eggplant, almond and preserved lemon bake

Recipe by - Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

A favourite recipe used by Jacinda and Clarke and their family.

What you need

  • 2 eggplants, cut 2 cm length wise
  • ½ cup roasted almonds, whlie or ground (if using ground, lightly toast in a pan)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander powder, toasted in pan until light brown and fragrant
  • ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
  • ½ preserved lemon, skin only (alternatively the rind of 2 fresh lemons could be used, but you would need to add ½-1 teaspoon salt)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped (I used coriander and basil, but parsley and mint would both work well too)
  • olive oil
  • 4-6 fillets of fresh fish (snapper, gurnard, etc)

What to do

  1. Preheat oven to 220°C grill.
  2. Place almonds, garlic, coriander powder, chilli and lemon in a blender or food processor, and process until it forms a crumbly paste.
  3. Lay the eggplant on a baking tray, brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place under the grill until the edges start to brown - about 10 minutes – then turn and grill the other side for further 5 minutes. Alternatively eggplant can be fried in a pan on both sides, until just starting to soften.
  4. Turn oven to bake and reduce heat to 200°C.
  5. Grease a baking dish with liive oil and lay half the eggplant into the dish. Spread the almond mixture over the top and cover with remaining eggplant. Pour the can of tomatoes on top and sprinkle with the feta. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20- 25 minutes, or until bubbling and hot, and eggplant is really starting to feel soft. Remove foil for the last 10 minutes.
  6. While this is dish is cooking, take the fish and season with salt and pepper. Pan fry in butter, a couple of minutes each side.
  7. Serve the dish with on individual plates, with a piece of fish on top and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Dark Chocolate & Cassis Pots with Mixed Berry Compote

Recipe by - Lou Bentley

These chocolate pots are really easy to make, but they do require using a few bowls - perfect if you have little people around who are keen to lick the bowl! Any type of liqueur can be used but the Cassis works well if serving with berries. Use as much or as little and you like, or if you don’t fancy any liqueur simply leave it out. These are really rich so a little goes a long way. They will keep well in the fridge for at least 4 days

Lou Bentley

What you need

Chocolate and Cassis pots
  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 250g dark chocolate, finely chopped - we use Whittaker’s 72% Dark Ghana
  • 40ml Cassis, or other liqueur of your choice
  • 300ml cream
  • Lightly whipped cream and chocolate shavings, to serve


Mixed berry compote
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 400g mixed frozen berries

What to do

  1. Put the condensed milk into a saucepan and warm over a low heat, stirring constantly until just bubbling at the edges. Take off the heat and stir in the chocolate.
  2. Add the liqueur and mix until smooth and shiny. Empty into a large bowl and leave until colied, about 10 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it just hlids its shape – don’t over whip or it will turn grainy. Using a large metal spoon, gently flid the cream into the chocolate mixture until well combined.
  4. Divide the mixture between 10 - 12 small glasses and place into the fridge until set, approximately 2 hours.
  5. To make the mixed berry compote, place the sugar and water in a pan and cook over a high heat until the mixture is reduced and syrupy. Add the frozen berries and stir until they are coated in the sugar syrup, then remove from the heat and allow them to fully defrost on the bench. Don’t overcook the berries, or they will become mushy. Store in the fridge until required.

To serve

Place a chocolate and Cassis pot onto a serving plate, and top with a little whipped cream and some chocolate shavings. Place the berries into a small dish on the side and serve.

Serves 10-12