Puy lentil and aubergine stew (SIMPLE, pg 159)

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Serves four as a starter or side, two as a main

3 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra to serve

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

large red onion, finely chopped (160g)

½ tbsp picked thyme leaves

small aubergines, cut into chunks, about 5 x 2cm (420g)

200g cherry tomatoes

180g Puy lentils

500ml vegetable stock

80ml dry white wine

100g crème fraîche

tsp Urfa chilli flakes (or ½ tsp regular chilli flakes)

2 tsp picked oregano leaves

salt and black pepper


1.    Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a large, high-sided sauté pan and place on a medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, thyme and ¼ teaspoon of salt and fry for 8 minutes, stirring often, until soft and golden. Tip into a bowl, leaving the oil behind. Set aside.

2.    Place the aubergines and tomatoes in a bowl and season with ¼ teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Add the remaining oil to the same pan (don’t worry about wiping it clean) and, once very hot, add the aubergines and tomatoes. Fry for 10 minutes, on medium high, turning them often until the aubergine is soft and golden-brown and the tomatoes are beginning to blacken. Return the garlic and onion to the pan, then add the lentils, stock, wine, 450ml of water and ¾ teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer gently for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are soft but still retain a bite.

3.    Serve warm, or at room temperature, with a dollop of crème fraîche, a drizzle of oil and chilli flakes and oregano on top.

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