Chickpea and lentil stuffed aubergines – a tasty, healthy vegetarian meal that looks impressive but is really easy to make! Post sponsored by Appletiser.
Aubergines are one of my favourite vegetables, as long as they are properly cooked of course; a spongy, undercooked aubergine is a sad thing indeed. These chickpea and lentil stuffed aubergines make great use of the vegetable for a meal that is not only delicious and easy to make but is healthy and looks very impressive too.
The aubergines are roasted until tender then stuffed with a mixture of harissa spiced chickpeas and lentils and topped with a scattering of salty feta cheese. I also like to serve them with a lemon tahini yogurt sauce and some pomegranate arils to dress them up. They are also delicious if you sprinkle over some pine nuts along with the feta. Served with a crisp salad they make a very satisfying and enjoyable meal.
I came up with this recipe as I was challenged by Appletiser to create a recipe for the theme 'cosy midweek supper club'. Now I have never hosted (or been to) a supper club, midweek or otherwise; but if I did then this is the kind of meal that I would want to serve. It looks and tastes like you've put lots of effort in, but it is easy to make and won't take you more than an hour to cook, so it isn't unfeasible to have as a midweek meal.
The flavours also work wonderfully with Appletiser's Apple and Pomegranate, which makes a great alcohol free accompaniment to any special meals AND 150ml counts as one of your five a day!
If you want to make this recipe vegan/dairy-free then omit the feta (or use a vegan cheese of your choice in its place) and simply serve the aubergines with the lemon tahini yogurt sauce made using plain soya or coconut yogurt rather than dairy yogurt.
Chickpea And Lentil Stuffed Aubergines
- 4 large aubergines (eggplant)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large red onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp harissa paste
- 400 g (14oz) tin chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 250 g (9oz) cooked Puy lentils I buy packets of precooked lentils by Merchant Gourmet
- a few sprigs fresh thyme leaves only
- 150 g (5oz) feta cheese
Lemon Tahini Yogurt Sauce:
- 120 ml (½ cup) plain yogurt
- juice ½ lemon
- 1 ½ Tbsp tahini
- ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Slice the aubergines in half lengthwise and score the flesh in a crisscross pattern, making sure that you don't cut all the way through. Arrange them cut side up in a large roasting tray and brush with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and roast for 30-40 minutes, until the flesh is soft.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining Tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over a low heat and add the red onion. Cook gently for about 10 minutes until softened then add the garlic, cumin, coriander and paprika and cook for another minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, harissa and some salt and pepper to the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced. Add the chickpeas, lentils and thyme and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Once the aubergines are cooked, remove them from the oven and carefully scoop out some of the flesh from each one, making sure that the skin stays intact. Roughly chop the flesh and add to the filling mixture. Check the seasoning then fill each aubergine half with the chickpea mixture. Scatter over the feta cheese then return to the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, make the lemon tahini yogurt sauce by mixing together all the ingredients in a bowl with a generous pinch of salt. Serve the aubergines with the sauce and a crisp salad.
This post is sponsored by Appletiser, thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to continue doing what I love – playing with food and making a mess of my kitchen.