Look no further if you’re looking for an easy, impressive and seriously delicious vegetarian recipe today. Roasted Eggplant with Lentils ticks all the boxes.
Made from meltingly tender roasted eggplants, stuffed with a Middle Eastern inspired combination of green or brown lentils, fresh tomatoes, pine nuts and herbs, this dish is packed with flavour. If you like baba ganoush, you are going to love this.
About this recipe
This is one of my favourite recipes for meat-free Mondays or when I have vegetarian guests around for dinner. These stuffed eggplants are light but totally satisfying and super simple to make.
Not only do they look gorgeous on a plate or arranged on a serving platter, they can be made well in advance and served at room temperature. Perfect for dinner parties!
To make Roasted Eggplant with Lentils, you’ll need the following main ingredients:
- Eggplants / Aubergines: Whether you call them eggplants or aubergines, you want to look for fresh eggplants that are glossy and purple for this dish. Choose slightly larger ones if you serve the eggplants as a main dish. If you’re serving them as a starter, look for some that are a bit more petite.
- Cumin, Balsamic and Garlic Powder: Brushing the eggplants with these flavourings before you roast them means they come out of the oven full of flavour.
- Olive oil: Eggplants famously soak up masses of oil, so you may need a little additional olive oil, depending on the size of the eggplants. Roasting and the long cooking time means you can use less oil than frying them.
- Lentils: I always keep cans of lentils in the pantry for a quick meal. They are delicious in this dish but make wonderful salads and bulk out a bolognese or a cottage pie beautifully. You can use dry lentils in this recipe; you’ll need to cook them to packet instructions before proceeding.
- Cherry tomatoes and raisins: Add a pop of colour and sweetness to this dish.
- Yoghurt and tahini: This simple sauce has a lovely creamy nuttiness and is excellent in various dishes. It also makes a fabulous salad dressing. You’ll usually find tahini in the International section of your grocery store.
- Pine nuts and sesame seeds: These seeds add a lovely crunch to the dish. Pine nuts are expensive, so swap them out for chopped walnuts if you are on a budget.
- Fresh herbs: I love the combination of dill with yoghurt and eggplant, but parsley, basil and oregano work wonderfully in this recipe.
What to serve with roasted eggplants
I always serve these eggplants with a loaf of crusty bread. The chewiness of the bread compliments the soft and tender eggplant beautifully.
If I make this dish as part of a larger meal, I’ll often serve a Greek-style Salad and a Turkish Bulgur salad. All these dishes can be made in advance, making for very relaxed dining. They also make a terrific side dish or starter to serve with Lamb Shank Kleftiko.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the best lentils to use in this dish?
Green or brown lentils from the can make this dish super easy. However, red lentils are not suitable as they break down too much.
Can I make roasted eggplants in advance?
Yes! These eggplants will keep in the fridge for several days. Serve at room temperature, or warm them gently in the oven or microwave before serving. I like to take them into the office for a light lunch that doesn’t send me into an afternoon food coma!
Can I make these Roasted eggplants As A vegan dish?
Of course, swap out any dairy for vegan alternatives.
Looking for another fabulous eggplant recipe? Try the famous Turkish dish ‘Imam Bayildi!’
Roasted Eggplant with Lentils Recipe
for the eggplants
- 2 medium eggplants
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- sea salt and black pepper
for the lentils:
- 400g (14 oz.) can of brown or green lentils, rinsed
- 200g (7 oz.) cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 3 Tbsp raisins or sultanas
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- small bunch of fresh dill, chopped
- zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus extra to serve
- pinch of chilli flakes or red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup unsweetened yoghurt
- 1-2 tsp tahini
- 3 Tbsp pinenuts, toasted
- 100g (3.5 oz.) feta or goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
- fresh bread
- PREPARE: Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6 and line an ovenproof dish or baking sheet with baking parchment paper. Halve the eggplants lengthways, then score the flesh in a cross-hatch pattern using a small, sharp knife.
- COOK THE EGGPLANTS: Place eggplant halves, cut side up in the prepared dish, stir together the oil, balsamic, cumin and garlic powder and brush generously over the eggplants. Season generously with salt and pepper, then roast in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes until golden brown and tender. If the eggplants look very dry, brush them with a little more olive oil during cooking.
- MAKE THE LENTIL SALAD: While the eggplants are cooking, make the topping by stirring together the lentils, cherry tomatoes, raisins, oil, sesame seeds, spring onions, dill, lemon zest and juice and chilli flakes in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
- MAKE THE SAUCE: In a small bowl, stir together the yoghurt and tahini until smooth.
- SERVE: When the eggplants have cooked, remove them from the oven and place eggplants on two (or four!) plates. Pile the lentil mixture on top of the eggplants, sprinkle over the pine nuts and feta and drizzle over a few tablespoons of tahini sauce. Serve with fresh bread and extra lemon juice, and olive oil to taste.
If you are watching your budget, swap the pine nuts for roughly chopped walnuts.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1 eggplant
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 810Total Fat: 66gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 52gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 871mgCarbohydrates: 279gFiber: 34gSugar: 85gProtein: 42g
Nutrition is calculated automatically and may not always be accurate.
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