I just love vegetarian food for its imagination, its use of spices and its variety. To eat well as a vegetarian is to really understand food and its nutrients, and to be adventurous with flavours. Here is a delicious little side dish inspired by my vege friend Beth. It can be made into a main by adding a can of crushed chickpeas to the tomato mixture before it's spread onto the aubergine. The chickpeas add the extra protein required for a complete meal.
Baked Aubergine, Tomato and Parmesan
2 small or 1 large aubergine
4 tablespoons oil
1 can whole tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons sugar
salt and pepper to taste
about half a cup of parmesan curls or grated parmesan
Cut the aubergine into 1.5cm thick rounds, and toss together with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Lay the rounds out in the bottom of a heavy based baking dish. Set aside.
Slice the onion lyonaise (cut in half, then finely sliced root to tip), and saute in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
Add the ground spices and briefly allow to fry.
Add the tomatoes and break up with the spoon. Followed by the finely sliced garlic and sugar.
Stir over a medium-high heat until the mixture reduces and thickens.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside to cool a little.
Preheat the oven to 200deg. C.
Spoon the tomato mixture neatly over the aubergine rounds.
Top each one with a few parmesan curls and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden.