Split lentils do not need to be pre-soaked, so this is one legume dish you can make without too much prior notice. It is also suitable for vegetarians.
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- 1¼ tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup (125 g/4 oz) red lentils
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 eggplants, about 400 g (13 oz) each
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup (185 g/6 oz) cooked brown rice
- 1 cup (250 ml/8 fl oz) chunky tomato pasta sauce
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1. Preheat the oven to moderate 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Heat a pan and brush with ¼ tablespoon of the oil. Add the lentils, bay leaves and 1 cup (250 ml/8 fl oz) water. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 10–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the water has been absorbed.
2. Prick the skin of the eggplants and bake for 15 minutes until soft. Cool, then halve and scoop out the flesh, leaving enough shell to hold the filling. Chop the flesh.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and cook the onion for 4–5 minutes. Add the thyme and eggplant and cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring often, until soft. Stir in the lentils, rice and half the pasta sauce. Spoon into the eggplants and bake for 15–20 minutes, sprinkling with cheese after 10 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce.