a The eggplant could definitely be the star of the show. Here’s the trick behind cooking for £1: What can I buy for cheap, but big enough to fill a plate? Eggplant has a luxurious quality that gives it a standout among vegetables, making it an ideal meat substitute without disappointment.
Milanese eggplant (top photo)
Here’s my meatless twist on a classic Italian dish. I especially love the contrasting texture of the crunchy, spiced breadcrumbs and the soft, buttery flesh of the eggplant. Definitely cook this on medium-low heat, until you get a nice golden colour.
to equip 10 minutes
cook 20 minutes
1 tablespoon of plain flour
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 handful Bread crumbs
1 x 1cm thick eggplant slice
100 grams of spaghetti
¼ onion cubes
1 garlic clove, Peeled and chopped
⅓ 400 g of chopped tomatoes
Start by boiling a pot of salted water. Pour three plates and put flour on one, season with a beaten egg on the other and breadcrumbs seasoned with spices on the third. Dip the eggplant slice in the flour, then in the egg, then in the bread crumbs and sauté gently in a little olive oil over medium-low heat for about seven minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente, then drain. In a separate skillet, sauté the onions and garlic in a splash of olive oil over medium heat for a few minutes, and when the garlic starts to brown, add the chopped tomatoes, season and simmer for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender. It smashed into a nice sauce.
Mix the drained pasta with the sauce, add a little cooking water to loosen it up as needed, and serve with the eggplant.
Chinese-inspired eggplant and rice
This intricately presented dish is really easy to make – just chop up the flesh of the eggplant and mix in a simple dressing. The key is to make the marinade sticky while still soaking the eggplant.
to equip 5 minutes
cook 30 minutes
100 grams of rice
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 pinch of chili flakes
1 garlic clove, Peeled and grated
½ spring onionsCut into thin matches
Preheat the oven to 190°C (fan 170°C) / 375°F / gas 5. Put the rice and 200ml of cold water in a saucepan, add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil and boil for seven minutes, until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, place the flesh in a diamond shape, making sure not to cut through the skin, and place on a tray or oven dish.
Next, mix the sesame oil, honey, soybeans, chili pepper and grated garlic, spoon the eggplant and bake for about 20 minutes, periodically applying the marinade over the eggplant. Once the dressing is nice and sticky and the eggplant is tender, pour any remaining dressing from the tray over it, sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions, and serve with rice.
Recipes adapted from Meatless OneWeight Meals and Super Easy OneWeight Meals, by Miguel Barclay and published by Headline at £16.99.