"This is one of my favourite times of year. Christmas is just around the corner and there are so many great festive treats to choose from. When everyone’s minds are on turkey, it can be hard to think of a dish for vegetarian guests that doesn’t include nut loaf.
That’s where this recipe for stuffed aubergines comes in. Filled with puy lentils, romero peppers and cannellini beans, even the biggest of meat fans will be eyeing this up."
1 large aubergine, washed and cut in half lengthways
200g of puy lentils, rinsed
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 romero pepper, chopped into bitesize chunks
120g of cannellini beans
1 clove of garlic, crushed
30g of manchego cheese, grated
1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
½ a teaspoon of fennel seeds, crushed
A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 small glass of red wine
300ml of vegetable stock
3 tbsps of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Set Oven Temp: 200C/Gas Mark 6
Pre-heat the oven to 200c (180C fan). Cut your aubergine in half and scoop out the flesh, leaving two aubergine shells. Brush with olive oil before placing in an oven proof dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Place the puy lentils in a pan with the wine and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked but still have bite.
Whilst the lentils are cooking, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a separate pan and sauté the onion and garlic for two minutes before adding in the carrot and 30g of the chopped aubergine flesh. Cook for a further five minutes before adding the romero pepper, paprika, fennel seeds and half a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook for a further two minutes before adding the beans. Heat for another few minutes, until the beans have warmed through.
Once the lentils are cooked, drain them and add them to the bean and vegetable mix. Take the pan off the heat and grate in the manchego cheese. Season to taste and stir in half of the parsley, before mixing well.
Spoon the mixture into the aubergine shells, sprinkle with a little of the leftover parsley and serve.
Served with a side of greens. These stuffed aubergines will make sure your vegetarian guests won’t be disappointed this Christmas.