Aubergines have a wonderful smokey flavour and add richness to any dish. This brilliant dish makes a simple supper, so easy to prepare, or make it in advance for effortless entertaining.
4 large aubergines
2 tbsp olive oil
250g green lentils, cooked and drained
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes with onions
For the topping:
250g tub ricotta
1. Preheat the oven to 200oC, gas mark 6.
2. Dice 3 of the aubergines, coat in 1 tbsp of the olive oil, season well and tip onto a large baking tray. Cut the remaining aubergine into 1cm discs, coat in the rest of the oil and season. Place on another baking tray and put both trays in the oven for 10-15 minutes until tender.
3. Meanwhile make the topping. Melt the butter in a small pan, then sprinkle over the flour while stirring until smooth. Cook for 1 minute then slowly pour over the milk, stirring continuously. Bring to the boil and whisk until smooth and thick. Mix in the ricotta, season well and set aside.
4. Mix the lentils with the garlic and tomatoes. Stir in the diced aubergine and pour in the base of a large ovenproof dish. Pour the topping over the lentils and aubergines, arrange the discs of aubergines on top and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the top is lightly golden.
For extra flavour fry lardons of bacon and stir into the lentil and tomato mixture with some chopped parsley.
Try adding strips of red or yellow peppers to roast along with the aubergines. It adds a lovely sweetness.
Also delicious with Parmesan, try sprinkling the top with about 25-30g before baking.