A delightful veggie dish, perfect for meat-free Monday, just bursting with flavour from this hearty lentil ragu. These miniature eggplants have a delicate and slightly sweet taste with a tender texture that pairs perfectly with the rich lentil ragu… finished with cheesy breadcrumbs for an extra topping crunch!
1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C *Note: if you make this with large eggplants, you will have to increase the cooking time*
2. Cut the aubergines in half, scoop out the middles and finely chop the flesh, set aside
3. Heat a little oil on medium in pan, sauté the onions, bay leaves, carrots, celery, aubergine flesh and garlic for about 15-20mins till soft
4. Stir in the lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, herbs and stock, bring to simmer
5. Cook 45 mins until lentils are cooked through, add water if needed, mixture should not be too saucy
6. Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes to taste, set aside
7. Arrange the eggplant shells in a single layer, then fill each with the lentil mixture
8. In a food processor blitz the bread, a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt, set aside
9. Divide the fresh mozzarella evenly among all of the aubergines
10. Add about ½" of water or stock to the bottom of your dish, cover with foil, and bake for 35 mins
11. Then remove the foil, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, drizzle with a little more olive oil, season the top with salt, pepper and chilli flakes and bake for 10-15 more mins until the cheese is melted and bubbly
12. Tear over some fresh basil
13. Serve immediately and enjoy!
1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C
*Note: if you make this with large eggplants, you will have to increase the cooking time*