Aubergines stuffed with lentils

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Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 2 aubergines
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 100g Puy lentils
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon or stock cube
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 30g cheese (either blue, cheddar, feta or mozzarella – grated or sliced)
  • Salt and pepper

Timings

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

Aubergines stuffed with lentils

Aubergines are big, meaty vegetables which have the capacity and strength to be stuffed. By baking them first, you are eking out their gorgeous deep caramel flavour and softening the skin and flesh. These bad boys, along with a nice green leaf salad, is a superbly hearty vegetarian meal for every month of the year.

Method

Preheat the oven to 180/350/gas 4.

Slice the aubergines in half vertically, from the core down to the bottom. Criss-cross the flesh of each half with your knife without cutting the skin.

Line a baking tray with baking parchment and place the aubergine halves flesh-side up. Drizzle with rapeseed oil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the lentils by rinsing them in a sieve under cold water. Place them in a medium sized saucepan and add enough cold water to cover well. Add the chopped peppers and vegetable bouillon and bring to the boil.

Turn down to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until they are tender. It’s good to have a bit if firmness (al dente) but they shouldn’t be solid.

Drain and stir through the thyme leaves. Once the aubergines are cooked, carefully scoop out the flesh and mix it through the lentils. Add the thyme. Next, stuff the lentil and pepper mix back into the aubergine halves. You’ll find they will be quite full and you might have excess which are delicious saved for lunch the next day.

Finally, cover with cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Serve with a salad of green leaves.

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Sometimes I find blue cheese a little strong. If you, like me, tend to find it overpowering, try using a softer, lighter cheese instead such as feta, mozzarella or Parmesan. Any old bit will do!”

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