Sunday, 8 November 2009

Deep dark Aubergine

There was a time, when I would never eat aubergines. I did not mind eating the jet black smooth outer skin, but the milky white insides would put me off with its sluggish texture, especially when undercooked. But my mother who is a fabulous cook converted me. She would cook it thoroughly that it would just melt beautifully in your mouth and the flavours were soothing. She would even make pakora’s (bhajis) with it. Delicious! As a novice and experimental cook, I have learned about the versatility of this savoury vegetable - bake it, fry it, grill it, roll it, roast it and even stuff it as I had in aubergine bundles, as well as how it is used in other world cuisines. So you can imagine how I have come to appreciate this vegetable much more than I did when I was a kiddie wink.
Well today being a very frosty day. I wanted something with texture and bite. So for once I picked up a couple aubergine from the grocery store. I know I have just missed the season, but I think you will forgive me. This dish was quite rich, substantial and comforting, especially for those who like mashed potatoes. If you want, it can be vegan just don’t add the double cream.

Roast Aubergine and Puy Lentils with Balsamic Vinegar cream
Serve 4 - 6
2 large aubergines, diced
100ml olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
250g Puy lentils
2 medium onions, finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
A generous glug of good balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
150ml double cream (optional)
1 bunch of basil, chopped (I used Greek basil that has been sitting in my kitchen windowsill for ages)
Preheat the oven to gas mark 7. Toss aubergine cubes into olive oil and season generously. Spread out onto 2 baking sheets and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until the white parts have turned golden and the flesh has begun to collapse. While aubergines are roasting, boil the lentils until they are tender, then drain. Sweat the onions and garlic in two tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Stir in the lentils and aubergines. Then add the vinegar, tamari and cream if using. Reheat, check seasoning and stir in basil before serving. Adapted from Food from the place below by Bill Sewell.


  1. Oh yum! ... and with mashed potatoes, mmmmm!

  2. Aubergine is either great or horrible - yours looks beautiful - I am sure it would tempt even the most aubergine-phobic among us

  3. this looks delicious (I'm trying to shake 'sluggish texture' from my mind though, ewww). I love aubergines and have been cooking with them too this weekend. I am definitely going to try this as it contains one of my other favourites - balsamic vinegar. thanks MC x

  4. ooo it looks so fancy and yummy!

  5. Thank you Jacqueline.

    Thank you so much Johanna.
    This is a dish I would recommend to those who dislike aubergine.

    Hi Nic,
    I really do hope you enjoy this dish.

    Hi Rose.
    Your right - it is fancy and to be honest, I don't serve and eat food this way (unless we have guests). I was just going to spoon both the mash and aubergine lentils onto the plate, but decided against it as I thought it would not do the dish justice. This does look much better.

  6. My mouth is watering for a taste of this, Mango. Lovely presentation, too!


If you’ve tried one of my recipes, Please let me know by leaving a comment below or tagging me social media with @SeasonalShaheen.

Thank You