This is a healthy, simple and quick salad, packed with protein and Mediterranean aromas. The smoked aubergine intensifies the earthy flavours of the puy lentils and sprouts and the tomatoes and lemon really liven it up.
I get a lovely organic veg box from a farm just outside of Bristol and I am often given a bag of brussel sprouts. I find it difficult to be inventive with sprouts, but I have found that the best way to cook them is either pan frying or baking. Do not let them see a drop of boiling water, they become waterlogged and lose their sweet taste and great texture.
I used dairy in this recipe but you can easily omit it to make it vegan. There are big enough flavours to carry the dish without the addition of tangy blue goats cheese. Serves 2-3
- 1 Aubergine
- 1 Lemon
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 175g Puy Lentils
- 8-10 Cherry Tomatoes
- 8-10 Brussel Sprouts
- 40g Sunflower Seeds
- 1 Organic Vegetable Stock Cube
- 70g blue goats cheese (optional)
- Rocket leaves
- Olive oil or butter
- Himalayan Salt
- Prick your aubergine with a fork a few times to allow any steam to be released when cooking.
- If you have a gas hob, place the aubergine straight on a medium flame, turning occasionally until the skin is blackened and the flesh feels soft inside – between 5-10 minutes. If you do not have a gas hob, turn your grill on high and grill the aubergine until you achieve the same results.
- Meanwhile, bring 2 parts water to lentils up to boil with a pinch of salt and add the lentils. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until al dente.
- Heat your oven to 180 degrees C.
- Using a knife, scrape off the blackened skin of the aubergine and discard. It doesn’t matter if a little skin is left on, it will add to the smokey flavour.
- Place the aubergine on a baking tray along with the 3 garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and add a good pinch of salt. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes.
- Quarter the sprouts and remove the outer leaves (save these to make sprout chips using the same method as making kale chips).
- Place a frying pan on a medium heat and add a splash of olive oil or butter. Add the sprouts and pan fry for about 5 minutes. Crumble the vegetable stock cube into the pan with the sprouts.
- Half the tomatoes and add to the frying pan. Flash fry for a minute or so to warm but not cook so they still keep their shape and freshness.
- Once your lentils are ready, tip the sprouts and tomatoes in with your lentils.
- Take the aubergine out of the oven. Roughly chop and mix into the lentils. Squeeze the garlic out of their skins, mash and add to the lentils.
- Place the frying pan back on the heat and add the sunflower seeds to toast for
about 1-2 minutes, stirring until browned.
- Mix the seeds into the lentils and add the juice of the lemon and rocket. Check the seasoning and add more salt if needed.
- Plate up the food. Crumble over the goats cheese, if using.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil and enjoy!