1. Tip the rice into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside to soak for a few mins. Peel and finely chop the onion. Set a medium-sized pan on a medium heat. Add ½ tbsp oil and the onion. Season with salt. Fry for 5-6 mins, stirring often, till the onion is glossy and lightly browned.
2. While the onion fries, fill and boil your kettle. Whisk the rice with a fork till the water goes cloudy (this is the starch). Drain the rice and rinse well under cold water. When the onion is glossy, tip in the rice and stir well. Pour in 250ml hot water from the kettle. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to very low and clamp on a lid. Gently simmer for 20-25 mins till the water has been absorbed.
3. While the rice simmers, preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Slice the aubergines in half lengthways. Use a sharp knife to score a crisscross pattern into the cut sides of the aubergines – try not to cut all the way through – 1cm deep should do it. Pop the aubergine halves on a baking tray and brush with 1 tsp oil each. Slide into the oven to roast for 20 mins.
4. Meanwhile, mix the brown rice miso, maple syrup and mirin together to make a smooth sauce. When the aubergines have roasted for 20 mins, take them out and brush over the miso glaze. Return the aubergines to the oven and roast for a further 15 mins till the aubergines are tender and sticky.
5. When the rice has simmered for around 25 mins and all the water has been absorbed, add the spinach to the pan. Pop the lid back on, and take the pan off the heat. Let the rice and spinach steam for 5 mins. The spinach will wilt and the rice will finish cooking and become fluffy.
6. Trim the roots and ragged greens off the spring onions. Thinly slice the spring onions. Add half the sliced spring onions to the rice, then stir together in the pan.
7. Divide the rice between two warm plates. Top the rice with the roast aubergine halves. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and the remaining spring onions. Serve straight away.
8. Love Your Leftovers
The cooked aubergines will keep for up to a day in the fridge and are best eaten the next day, either cold or reheated in the microwave. We recommend cooking the rice to order, rather than storing and reheating it.