For as long as I can remember I have always enjoyed eating eggplant. I understand it’s not everyone’s vegetable of choice, but cooked right it can be. Normally, I’ll use eggplant in an Italian-inspired dish however, I decided to spice things up with this recipe. It’s a great vegetarian meal and will have everyone’s belly feeling satisfied.
- 2 medium eggplants, halved lengthways
- Salt for seasoning
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground paprika
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- 400g tin lentils, rinsed, drained
- 200g tin cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
- 1/6 cup basil leaves, torn
- 40g shredded tasty cheddar
- 15g panko crumbs
- Preheat oven to 200C. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Use a small sharp knife to score the cut side of each eggplant half in a diamond pattern (don’t cut all the way through). Season with salt. Place, cut-side down, on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with paper towel. Use a teaspoon to scoop out eggplant flesh, leaving a 1cm-thick shell. Finely chop eggplant flesh.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until light golden. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika and cinnamon and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Add eggplant flesh and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until tender. Add lentils, tomatoes and stock powder and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer. Stir in basil. Season.
- Place eggplant shells, cut-side up, on lined trays. Top with lentil mixture. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 45 minutes.
- Sprinkle with the cheddar and panko crumbs. Spray with olive oil spray. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve.