- 1 medium-large aubergine/eggplant, sliced about 1cm thick
- 2 large bell peppers (any colour), halved, de-seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, finely diced or sliced
- 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, or around 500g/1lb very ripe chopped fresh tomatoes
- 200ml/¾ cup boiled water or hot vegetable stock
- 100g/4oz/1 cup of drained, tinned pulses such as cannellini beans or butter beans
- 1 mild-medium chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- 1 tsp sugar, optional
- a handful of fresh chopped mint and parsley (about 1 tbsp of each)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/170C Fan/350F/Gas 4*
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan (medium-high heat) and cook half of the aubergine slices on both sides for a few minutes, until soft and golden brown. Remove from the pan and repeat with the other half. Keep the cooked aubergine to one side. Once cooked and cooled slightly, chop the aubergine slices into quarters - This is best done after cooking, to ensure that the aubergine is cooked through evenly.
Turn down the heat to medium and add a further tbsp of oil to the pan. Gently sauté the peppers and onion for a few minutes. Then add the chilli and garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add all of the remaining ingredients (including the cooked aubergine) and bring to a simmer.
*If you're in a hurry, reduce the amount of water/stock by half and cover the pan. Simmer for around 10 minutes, instead of baking.
If you have time, pour the vegetables into a heat-proof dish, cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover for the last 10 minutes for a thicker sauce.
Serve with fresh pitta bread, potatoes, rice or pasta.
Vegetarian option: crumble 100g of feta cheese over the casserole before the final 10 minutes cooking time.
Substitutes: If you don't like aubergine, swap it for 200g/8oz mushrooms or 2 medium courgettes/zucchini.
I'm linking this post up to this month's Extra Veg Challenge, created by Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy and to the Credit Crunch Munch also hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours.