- 2 aubergines
- Sea salt
- 3 tsp olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 chilli
- 250g cherry tomatoes
- 3-4 tbsp cold water
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 400g tin of butter beans
- A handful of mint, leaves only
- 1 lemon
- 125g ricotta
1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7. Trim the aubergines and cut them into bite-sized chunks. Tumble the aubergines into a large roasting tin and toss with a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 tsp oil. Slide the aubergines into a hot oven and roast for 20-25 mins till lightly charred and tender.
2. Meanwhile, peel the onions and thinly slice them. Peel the garlic cloves and thinly slice them. Halve the chilli, flicking out the seeds and membrane for less heat, and finely chop it. Tip the cherry tomatoes into a large bowl and use your hands to squish and tear them into small pieces, covering the bowl with a tea towel to stop the juice squirting out. Alternatively, just quarter the tomatoes.
3. Pour 2 tsp oil into a large frying pan and warm to a medium heat. Slide in the garlic and chilli. Sprinkle in 2 tsp fennel seeds and a pinch of salt and pepper. Fry for 1 min, stirring.
4. Add the sliced onions to the pan along with the squashed tomatoes and juices. Add 3 tbsp water. Cook for 12-15 mins, stirring occasionally, till the onions are soft and golden and the tomatoes are pulpy. If it starts to look dry, add a splash more water.
5. While the veg fry, pick the mint leaves off their sprigs and finely slice them. Finely grate the zest fromthe lemon.
6. When the aubergines are tender, stir them through the tomatoes and onions. Drain the butter beans and add them to the pan. Warm through for 2 mins. Scatter in most of the mint leaves, most of the lemon zest and squeeze in the juice from half the lemon. Have a taste of the beans and add more salt, pepper or lemon juice if needed.
7. Divide the aubergines and butter beans between 2 plates. Top with dollops of the ricotta, the remaining mint leaves and lemon zest and serve.