These baked aubergines are stuffed with a delicious lentil and vegetable filling, and topped with a cheesy sauce. They are also a great leftover lunch option. Just wrap in foil, reheat, and serve with a side of salad!
Recipe: Cheesy aubergines
Prep and cooking time: 50 mins
- 2 x 400g aubergines (or 4 small/medium)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced or minced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 100g red lentils
- 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 230ml of water
- 1 large carrot, diced into 0.5cm cubes
- 1⁄2 tsp dried cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 80g cheddar cheese, grated (or vegan cheese, grated)
- 1 large handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 120g rocket or preferred salad leaves (optional side)
Optional cheese sauce:
- Use 50g of the grated cheese to make a cheese sauce
- 25g butter
- 25g wholemeal flour 250ml full-fat milk
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
- Slice the aubergines in half lengthways down the centre. Score diagonally along each half (about 2⁄3 of the way to the bottom), drizzle with 1 tbsp of the oil, and bake for 25-35mins, or until tender.
- While aubergines are baking, add 1 tbsp of the remaining oil to a large saucepan, over medium heat. Fry the garlic and onion, until softened. Add the lentils and tinned tomatoes. Stir for 3mins before adding the water and carrots.
- Add the dried spices to the mixture, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for approximately 20mins, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced and lentils are soft and ‘meaty’. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Take aubergines out of the oven and scrape out 1/2 – 2⁄3 of the flesh, leaving shelled aubergine skins. Add the removed flesh to the lentil mixture. Stir lightly and leave to rest.
- Prepare the cheese sauce (optional) by melting the butter in a non-stick saucepan over a low heat until it’s melted. Sift in flour and stir well.
- Gradually and slowly, add the milk. Stir constantly for 5-8mins until thickened. Take it off the heat, stir in 50g of the cheese, and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place the lentil mixture into the aubergine skins and cover with cheese sauce (you can save any leftovers and add more to serve later, if desired).
- Sprinkle the remaining 30g (or all 80g if no cheese sauce) of cheese and bake for 5mins, until the cheese is melted and golden. Sprinkle the parsley and enjoy with a side salad.