Recipe | Puy lentils with aubergine & tomato, from SIMPLE…

After a weekend of eating delicious vegetarian food all weekend at Sisterhood Camp, I’ve turned to my cook books for inspiration.  And discovered a renewed love of creating dishes to nourish me and my family.  My only wish is that Charlie becomes more adventurous with his eating.

He hardly eats any vegetables, quite happy to exist on pasta, bread and hummus! Sigh!  I hope he grows out of this phase soon.  We are involving him in the preparing and cooking process of our meals, and he really enjoys food tech classes at school.  But sadly, nothing we do can encourage him to be braver with his diet.

Anyway, last weekend I visited one of my favourite green grocers here in Bristol, the famous Reg the Veg. And was completely overexcited choosing seasonal produce. Large squashes, a rainbow of beetroot, vibrant green curly kale.  Wanting to create something of Yotam Ottelenghi’s new book – SIMPLE.

Puy Lentils with aubergine, tomatoes and yoghurt.

Yotam says: for sake of ease I’ve roasted the aubergines in a hot oven.  If you want to get a smoky taste into the flesh of the aubergine, though, you’re best to put it directly on the open flame on your stove. …. use long tongs to help turn the aubergine so that all sides are burnt.  This method can be a bit messy, but the upside is that it takes just 15-20 minutes, rather than an hour and the resulting smoky taste is more intense.

This can be made up to 3 days in advance, up to the point of the yoghurt being added.  keep in the fridge until needed.

Serves 4 as a starter or side, two as a main.

Ingredients

  • 4 aubergines
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 160g puy lentils of 350g of ready cooked
  • 2 tbsp olive oil – plus extra to drizzle
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic crushed
  • 3 tbsp of oregano leaves
  • 100g greek style yoghurt
  • salt and black pepper.

Method

  1. preheat the oven to 230 c fan (if you are roasting the aubergines)
  2. place in the oven for 1 hour, turning them halfway until the flesh is soft and slightly smoky. (of course skip this step if you are roasting on the gas flame on the stove).
  3. once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a colander. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes. Discard the skin.
  4. Place cherry tomatoes in the same tray and roast for 12 minutes until slightly blackened, split and soft. Remove and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the puy lentils. Until soft but still retaining a bite. Drain and then set aside to dry out slightly. Tip them into a large bowl and add the aubergine flesh, tomatoes, oil, lemon juice, garlic, 2 tbsp of oregano, 3/4 of teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well, then spoon into a shallow bowl.  Top with the yoghurt, swirling though.  Sprinkle over with remaining tablespoon of oregano, drizzle with a little oil and serve.

Recipe adapted from the book SIMPLE.

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