Stuff this: Aubergines
Updated: Mar 3
Taste Test: Deliciously vegetarian or vegan
Grade: Easy: Less than 30 minutes
This is a healthy, zesty, and favourite vegetarian or vegan dish to serve to friends or family. Or I make enough to eat for a few meals during the week. (It keeps well for 4 days, covered and refrigerated. You can also freeze for later. Use half the ingredients for a meal for 2.
4 small aubergines
3 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 pinch sea salt
500g jar of split cooked red lentils
1 3/4 cups chopped tomatoes
1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp oregano
4 Tbs parmesan cheese or vegan cheese
(optional chopped parsley, cilantro, or pomegranate)
Oven or griddle
Large frying pan or gridle
Small sharp cooks’ knife
9x13-inch (or similar size) baking dish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Remove lentils from the jar and rinse under a cold tap in a colander.
Cut aubergines in half lengthways on a chopping board. Cut a cross shape in the centre of the aubergines without breaking the skin. Use a spoon to scrape out a hollow center. Leave enough aubergine flesh so it's sturdy enough to hold the filling.
Place aubergine flesh and garlic in a large pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil and cook until soft, stir using a wooden spoon.
Add paprika and oregano to the pan, stir for 30 seconds.
Add lentils, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, and stir. Heat over medium heat until bubbling. Then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Taste and adjust flavour with salt, pepper, oregano and paprika to your liking. Leave to one side.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat or heat up your griddle. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil and smear around the pan or griddle. Add the aubergine, cut-side down. Cover with a lid. Cook in this way in two batches, depending on the size of the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until slightly charred. Then flip over on the other side, cover, and cook for 4-5 minutes more.
The aubergine should be softened and browned on the outside and flesh soft and cooked on the inside.
Once the aubergine is cooked to your satisfaction, place cut-side up in your baking dish and fill with the lentil mix.
Top with parmesan, mozzerella or vegan cheese.
Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes in the oven, until the aubergine is soft and brown and the cheese bubbling.
Chefs Tips and Tricks
Serve as a snack on its own, or with rice, chips, rice or pasta noodles (or whatever you like!).
Instead of lentils, use cooked brown or white rice or chickpeas.
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, pomegranate or cilantro (optional) for colour and flavour.
Keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, if covered, or in the freezer up to 1 month.
Cooked, red split lentils are an excellent source of fibre, protein, B vitamins and iron.
Oddly, dried or cooked lentils are also a treatment for dry skin.
Mix cold cooked lentils in a little milk and mix to a paste with lemon juice or white wine vinegar. Apply on your skin. Leave for 30 minutes. Rinse.
Another method for multiple uses is to grind dried red split lentils into a powder and store it in a clean and air-tight container. This can be later used to prepare multiple face packs.
Add milk or water to the ground lentils as a scrub.
Add coconut oil for a skin moisture.
Add almond oil for a night skin tonic.