Spice-Crusted Aubergines

This healthy recipe is very low in badness, high in goodness, and out of this world in flavor! I usually avoid posting recipes with exotic ingredients but the ones listed here you will fall in love with and will want to keep on hand from now on. If you refer to the purple fruit as aubergines rather than eggplant it will taste more British. True story, mate.


2 large aubergines, halved 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 red bell peppers, quartered 2 tsp ground cinnamon 2 tsp chilli flakes 2 tsp za'atar (middle eastern spice blend you can make or buy) 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses 1/2 cup lentils 1/2 cup basmati or jasmine rice seeds from 1 pomegranate small pack flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped Greek or coconut yogurt, optional for serving


Heat oven to 400F. Using a sharp knife, score a diamond pattern into the aubergines. Brush with 1 tbsp of the oil, season well and place on a baking tray, cut-side down. Cook in the oven for 15 mins. Add the peppers to the tray, turn the aubergines over and drizzle everything with the remaining oil. Sprinkle over the spices, 1 tbsp of the pomegranate molasses and a little salt. Roast in the oven for 15 mins more.

Boil the lentils in plenty of water until al dente. After they’ve been boiling for 5 mins, add the rice. Cook for 10 mins or until cooked through but with a bit of bite. Drain and return to the pan, covered with a lid to keep warm.

Stir the pomegranate seeds and parsley through the lentil rice. Divide between four plates or tip onto a large platter. Top with the roasted veg, a dollop of yogurt and the remaining pomegranate molasses drizzled over.

Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.