Baked stuffed aubergine with walnut and Roquefort
Blue cheese and walnuts add a festive note to this delicious veggie main. The dish can be mostly made it in advance - just add the topping and reheat before serving.
- 4 large aubergines
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 6 tomatoes, diced
- 1 small sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1 small sprig of fresh thyme
- virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 60g/2½oz walnuts
- 50g/2oz toasted fresh breadcrumbs
- 200g/8oz Roquefort (or similar blue raw milk sheep’s cheese)
For the tomato sauce (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200C/440F/Gas 6.
Cut the aubergines in half, leaving the tops on and score the surface of the flesh with a knife.
Place on a baking tray cut-side up, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes or until soft.
While the aubergines are cooking, gently fry the onions and garlic in oil for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and herbs and cook to soften
Remove the flesh from the roasted aubergines, reserving the skins to be stuffed later. Chop the aubergine flesh into small cubes.
Add the aubergine flesh and the lightly chopped walnuts to the tomato mixture and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the mixture in the aubergine skins (if making in advance, you can refrigerate the aubergines at this stage).
Crumble over the cheese and top with breadcrumbs. Return to the oven or place under a hot grill until the cheese is melted, the breadcrumbs crisp and the flesh warmed through.
For the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion for five minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil, add the chopped oregano reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Halfway through, add the shredded basil leaves.
When it has finished cooking, add salt to taste, and blend to a smooth purée using a hand-held blender or food processor. The sauce keeps for a few days in the fridge, but is best if eaten when freshly made.
Serve the hot aubergines with the hot tomato sauce on the side.
The blue cheese isn't overpowering, so people who are less keen on strong cheeses will still enjoy this dish.
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