Stuffed aubergines by Davina McCall
“I haven’t always been a fan of stuffed vegetables, but the filling for these aubergines is really tasty and juicy and I love it. The pine nuts are delish, but they do add an extra 40 calories or so to each portion. Add a green salad on the side and that’s supper. Big tick for this one!”
2 large aubergines
olive oil spray
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
½ large red pepper (about 100g)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
zest of 1 lemon
½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
200g canned tomatoes
25g black olives, sliced
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
400g can of chickpeas, drained
and rinsed or 240–250g cooked
chickpeas (see p.205)
4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
25g pine nuts, lightly toasted
Optional Topping Ingredients
25g Parmesan cheese, grated (remove if vegan)
25g wholemeal breadcrumbs
salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas 7.
Cut the aubergines in half, lengthways, then cut a border, ½–1cm thick, around the cut side of the aubergine and scoop out all the flesh. Dice the cut flesh and set it aside.
Spritz the hollowed-out aubergines with spray oil and place them in a roasting tin. Cover them with foil and roast for 20 minutes until they have softened slightly.
To make the filling, heat the tablespoon of oil in a wide saucepan.
Sauté the onion, pepper and reserved aubergine flesh for a few minutes until they’re starting to soften, then add the garlic. Stir for another minute, then add the oregano, half the lemon zest, the chilli flakes, the tomatoes and 100ml of water.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bring the mixture to the boil, then cover the pan, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Stir in the olives, capers and chickpeas, then half the parsley. Cook, uncovered, for another 5–10 minutes until the sauce has reduced, then stir in the pine nuts, if using.
Divide the filling between the aubergine halves – there’ll be enough to create a nice domed effect.
Mix the Parmesan (if using) and breadcrumbs with the remaining parsley and lemon zest, then sprinkle this mixture on top of each aubergine half.
Turn the oven down to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6. Put the filled aubergines in the oven and bake them for 15–20 minutes until the filling is piping hot and the tops are browned.
Davina will be at the BBC Good Food Eat Well Show featured as part of the BBC Good Food Show Summer in the City on Friday 20th May