Vegetarian recipe ideas
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Trim the aubergines, then cut into 5mm slices lengthways. Brush both sides of each slice with some oil. Season. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat until very hot, and cook the aubergines for 4-6 mins on each side until char lines appear and they are cooked through (they’ll stop looking spongy, and turn a slightly translucent grey). You’ll need to do this in batches. Put on a plate. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan, and fry the garlic for 1-2 mins until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, half a tin of water, the oregano and some seasoning. Bubble, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until thickened and saucy. Season well and add a pinch of sugar or a splash of vinegar to balance the tomatoes if needed. Roughly chop half the basil and stir into the sauce. Remove from the heat.
Drain the mozzarella, then chop into rough rectangles or wedges (you’ll need the same amount of mozzarella pieces as you have aubergine slices). Working with one aubergine slice at a time, put a piece of mozzarella at one end, spoon over 1 tsp of pesto, top with a basil leaf, and season. Roll the aubergine up into a fat sausage, so the filling is enclosed. Repeat with the remaining aubergine slices, mozzarella, pesto and basil.
Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the tomato sauce in a baking dish large enough to comfortably fit all the aubergine rolls, and nestle them into the sauce, seam- side down, so they’re half-coated in the sauce. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and the sauce bubbling.
Meanwhile, make the crumbs. Heat the oil in frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the breadcrumbs for 5 minutes until golden and crisp. Scoop into a bowl, mix with the remaining ingredients and season.
Serve the aubergine rolls with the crispy crumbs on the side for sprinkling over (this will help prevent them going soggy in the sauce).
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