All in one; Mediterranean style ingredients, protein rich lentils and sharp parmesan cheese making a complete comforting meal in one dish.
Tip: Whilst fresh tomatoes are preferable it is okay to use good quality tinned chopped Australian tomatoes
Season: Summer to Autumn
Ability: Medium, can be made a day ahead
Equipment: stove and oven
- Preheat a fan forced oven to 200c and lightly grease a 18 x 12cm baking dish
- Take a small pot and cook lentils
- Cut the eggplant lengthways into 1cm slices, sprinkle with salt, place on a tray and set aside.
- Place a medium sized pot on the stove, add oil, chopped onions and a pinch of sea salt flakes, cook gently for 10 minutes without colour.
- Add the garlic and rosemary, cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with the apple cider vinegar, add the juicy ripe chopped tomatoes, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-25 minutes until the tomato has completely collapsed and mix thickened.
- Add the tomato sauce, cooked lentils and basil, check seasoning.
- Meanwhile pat the excess moisture from the eggplant using a piece of paper towel. Drizzle with olive oil and cook on a BBQ, hot (this is vital) plate or in a large pan, colouring both sides; this will soften the flesh.
- Take your baking dish, place 1/3 of the tomato sauce on the base, followed by a compact layer of eggplant, next 1/3 tomato sauce, sprinkle of Parmesan, remaining eggplant, lastly the remaining tomato sauce, Parmesan and torn bocconcini.
- Bake in the prepared oven for 35- 50 minutes or until golden- ovens vary.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes before drizzling with olive oil, chopped fresh flat leaf parsley or basil and serve. Crusty bread or salad leaves would be a nice accompaniment, but are not necessary.