Honey, lemon and feta cheese give these eggplants an exotic flavour. Good with roast lamb and a salad, or Middle Eastern vegetable dishes.
2 medium (325–350g/11 ounces each) eggplants (aubergines) 2 Tbsp olive oil Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 150g (5 ounces) feta cheese, thinly sliced 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped (should yield 1 cup chopped tomato; reserve juices) 2 Tbsp tomato concentrate diluted in 4 Tbsp water 12 mint leaves, chopped 1 cup coarse sourdough breadcrumbs 1 Tbsp manuka (or aromatic) honey 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
1 Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Trim eggplants and cut each in half. Using a small sharp knife, make a criss-cross pattern on the cut side of each. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over medium heat and add eggplants cut side down. Cook until a good golden brown, about 10 minutes.
2 Transfer eggplants to an ovenproof dish lined with baking (parchment) paper. Season with flaky sea salt and black pepper, and put feta on top. Combine tomatoes, diluted tomato concentrate and mint leaves, and spoon over feta. Top with crumbs. Season with a little more salt and black pepper. Dissolve honey in lemon juice and add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Drizzle over crumbs. Add 4 tablespoons of water and any reserved tomato juices to cover bottom of dish.
3 Bake for about 30 minutes, until browned on top and very tender, adding a little more water if necessary to prevent scorching. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hottish (although they’re also good cold!).
I also like these with roughly chopped sourdough croutons (as pictured), and that’s a handy recommendation if you don’t have a processor or machine to blitz the bread to crumbs. The recipe can be doubled. If there are leftovers, they can be reheated in the oven, or, alternatively, heat a little oil in a pan or skillet and fry them until the bread becomes crisp; it tends to soften after several hours.