Pesto Baked Aubergine with a Walnut Crumb


serving suggestion: baked aubergine on a bed of minty roasted potatoes with lemon & buckwheat, topped with vegan feta, tomato, olives and edible flowers.



Right, so this recipe looks super fancy, but I'll let you in to a little secret.. it's really not. It was actually dead easy to make and it's got summery dinner vibes written ALL of it, so perfect if you're planning to host a gathering once restrictions have lifted.


I have found that aubergines have a bit of a bad rep, but I personally think they're blooming delicious. If cooked and seasoned right they have the potential to hold so much flavour and have a gorgeous succulent texture. Anyway, if you're team Aubo lets cut to the chase!



Prep 15 minutes

Cooking time 55mins

(Approx.)

Serves 2


You will need:


Ingredients:


1 aubergine

2 tbsp pesto

salt

drizzle of extra virgin olive oil


Serve on:

2 large handfuls of kale

2 portions of buckwheat (around 1 cup) *alternatively you can sub for couscous, quinoa or any other grain you prefer*

8-10 new potatoes

1 tsp of mixed herbs

A few leaves of mint (optional)

1 lemon

1 tbsp of toasted sunflower seeds (optional)


Garnish:

1 finger of feta ( I used violife)

a handful of olives ( I used a mix of stoned greek olives)

1 tomato

salt

pepper

lemon


Walnut crumb:

2 oat cakes crackers

2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

2 tbsp walnuts *you can sub for any other nut you prefer* I buy my nuts in bulk from here

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp of dried thyme


Equipment:

1 chopping board

1 sharp knife

2 roasting trays

1 small pan

1 frying pan

1 sift/small colander

1 hand blender

1 bowl

1 spoon/spatula

tin foil



Method:


Preheat the oven to 180c (or equivalent)


Slice the aubergine length-ways down the middle, score with a sharp knife, then place in a baking tray white flesh up, season with some salt, massage in some oil and then spread on the pesto (1 tbsp on each half of aubergine)


Next- to make the crumb. If you have a hand blender or food processor use that if not you can use a rolling pin and sandwich bag to break up the pieces. So grab your oat cakes, walnuts, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic powder, thyme and blitz/smash until a crumbly texture is formed


Then spread the mix on the aubergine to create a coating and save the rest. Pop in an air tight jar/tub and keep for a pasta bake topping (see below)


Right, so now cover the whole baking tray with foil and bake for 55 minutes


Meanwhile prep the other elements:


Grab another baking tray, add in some oil and then chop up the potatoes and add them in with some salt & oregano *add these in to the oven in about 30 minutes- they take around 25 minutes to cook so will be done around the same time as the aubergine*


Next prep your salad garnish. Simply chop up some feta, tomatoes & olives add a squeeze of lemon and pinch of salt and put to one side for a moment


Then you’ll want to cook you buckwheat !


Boil the kettle, once water has boiled pour into a pan, add the buckwheat to boiling water and cook for around 12 minutes - once boiled you can drain and put to one side to wait for everything else to cook


Chop up the mint, remove the potatoes from the oven, mix in the mint and then place back in the oven


At around the 45 minute mark wash and chop the kale and sauté in with some oil and salt, then add in the drained buckwheat and add a squeeze of lemon


Your potatoes should now be ready too! So remove them from the oven and add them into the kale and buckwheat - mix in well


Now remove the aubergine from the oven- it’ll be really hot, so carefully remove the tin foil


Plate up the potatoes/buckwheat- make a dip in the middle and then place the aubergine on top, then finish with the salad, a drizzle of oil and squeeze of lemon


Tadaaaah- your done!