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Like most stews, casseroles and soups – this dish is better cooked ahead. It allows the flavours to really marry together. Enjoy with crusty sourdough bread and a nice green salad. Can also be served as part of antipasti buffet at room temperature.

Ingredients 

  • 4 small to medium aubergines
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (30 grams)
  • 300 grams onion, finely dice
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 small dried red chilli
  • 150 ml red wine
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 300 ml vegetable stock (1 Kallo stock cube)
  • 700 grams freshly chopped tomato or 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • Handful fresh basil leaves to garnish
  • A couple of good tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese (opt)

Dressing

  • 200 grams sour cream (1 small tub)
  • 200 grams sheep’s feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or runny honey
  • 200 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ orange zest
  • Gluten free
  • Dairy free – see Maggie’s tip
  • Diabetic friendly
  • Low GI
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
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Method

    1. Pre-heat oven 200c. Using the tip of the knife score aubergine length-ways and peel the skin away in thin strips in 3-4 parts. (This allows the steam to escape and the aubergine to hold its shape). Make one, deeper incision lengthwise and scoop out a little of the meat and whatever seeds you can from inside. Sprinkle the inside of aubergine with salt and turn upside down on a wire rack for 20- 30 minutes, then rub the inside with kitchen paper to dry off.
    2. Next, heat a little oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add garlic and gently sauté for 30 seconds, add in onion and give a quick stir, cover with a lid and lower heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes until onion has softened.
    3. Add the oregano and chilli and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomato puree and cook for 1 minute. Add the red wine and simmer gently for 2 minutes, followed by vegetable stock and chopped tomatoes. Bring back to a slow simmer and add in butter beans. Season to taste. Set aside.
    4. Massage the outer skin of aubergine with a little olive oil. Heat a large pan over high heat. Place the aubergines into the hot pan, turning them occasionally. Lower heat, gently cook until the aubergine skin is slightly blistered and the aubergine somewhat softer.
    5. Pack the aubergines snugly in an ovenproof casserole dish. Spoon the tomato and bean sauce under and around aubergines, prizing open the cavity and filling them too with the mixture. Cover with a lid and place in oven for 40 minutes or until cooked.
    6. Allow to cool slightly. Scatter with fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese just before serving.

     

Maggie's Tips


  • Swap butterbeans for chickpeas
  • Add some chorizo for a smoky Spanish flavour
  • Fresh mozzarella such as Toonsbridge or creamy artisan goats cheese or creamy Greek yoghurt also works well with this dish.