This recipe gets a lot of love, even from the aubergine detractors. Layers of melty mozzarella, soft aubergine, a punchy tomato sauce, topped with parmesan go to make this an absolute winner. You can make ahead, it’s healthy and utterly delicious.
Ingredients - serves 4
2 red onions, 1 stick of celery , 1 large carrot, 2 cloves garlic - chopped finely (I use my food processor)
2 tins tomatoes
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp oregano
2 large chicken breasts
2 large Aubergines - sliced lengthways into 2 cm approx thickness
250g bag of grated mozzarella
1 bunch basil
Handful of panko crumbs,
1 tbsp olive oil and chopped parsley (I use frozen)
In a saucepan, soften the onions in a tablespoon of olive oil, making sure they don’t burn. Add the celery, carrot, garlic, and soften for a few more minutes. Add the tomato, oregano, vinegar and seasoning. Cook for 20 mins or so.
Meanwhile, sear the chicken in a hot frying pan for 7-8 mins, then put in the hot oven to finish cooking (or finish on the hob). How long this takes will depend on the size of the breasts, mine took another 10 mins. Cut into bite size pieces
Heat a chargrill pan or frying pan- brush with olive oil. Fry the aubergine in batches until soft.
Mix 30g of parmesan with the crumbs, olive oil, salt and chopped parsley
Brush a large ovenproof dish with olive oil. spread a little tomato sauce along the bottom. Tear over the basil. Layer half the aubergines and chicken, then a layer of tomato sauce. Top with 1/3 of the parmesan and mozzarella. Repeat again. This time finish with the mozzarella and parmesan, then sprinkle over the breadcrumb mixture.
Cook for 30-40 mins in a preheated oven until bubbling and golden.