Creamy Beans and Aubergine, 66p [VG/V/DF/GF]

 Weekday breakfasts in my household generally consist of a piece of toast in one hand as I flail about the house looking for ‘the other f*cking school shoe’ or the last of the elasticated ties, so weekend breakfasts are sacrosanct. SB and My Love loll about in bed with the magazines and newspapers I ply them with to keep them from under my feet, as I languish through the oddments in the fridge – bought with good intentions for weekday dinners and yet somehow still hanging around – and try to make something of them. This was last weekends triumph, and was immediately requested again. If cooked long and low, it offers a comforting softness that makes it ideal to pile high on hot crunchy toast. This served 3 of us in exactly that manner, but admittedly one of our number was a child. If aubergines are not your thing, replace it with a pepper of any colour, or make the tomatoes and beans and have them on toast anyway.

Serves 3 from 66p each

1 large aubergine, 70p (price per loose one, Asda. Grab the largest one you can find!)

400g cannelini, haricot or black eyed beans, 40p (KTC brand at Asda)

4 cloves of garlic, 8p (60p/3 bulbs, Growers Selection at Asda)

500ml vegetable stock, 3p (39p/12 stock cubes, Asda)

1 tbsp lemon juice, 3p (60p/250ml, KTC at Asda)

a generous pinch of black pepper, 1p (80p/100g, TRS or KTC brand at Asda)

400g chick peas, 40p (KTC at Asda)

2 tbsp tomato puree, 30p (Gia sundried tomato puree, 75p/80g, Asda)

2 tbsp oil, 3p (£1.09/1l, Asda)

First turn your oven on to 200C and make sure there is a shelf roughly in the middle of it. Grab your aubergine and carefully skewer it around 20 times with a small sharp knife. Pop it on a baking tray and cook for 45 minutes. (I like to knock together something like my soda bread at the same time, while the oven is on, and dry out any stray mushrooms, herbs or chillies on the very bottom of the oven to make the most of the energy while the oven is on.)

Meanwhile, drain and rinse the beans and tip them into a saucepan. Peel and roughly chop the garlic and add those too. Cover with the stock, bring to the boil, and then simmer for 40 minutes. You may need to add a splash more water to stop them from drying out.

While the beans and aubergines are cooking, drain and rinse the chickpeas and toss them in a blender or small food processor along with the tomato puree and a little oil. Blitz to form a rough paste, loosening with a splash of water if needed until it is the consistency of thick hummus. Stir in the herbs, season well with salt and pepper, and set to one side.

Go back to your beans. Lightly mash them with a fork, leaving some whole, to soften and create a creamy texture. Add the lemon juice and pepper and mix well.

When the aubergine is cooked, remove it from the oven. Place it on a plate and split it down the middle, keeping the top and bottom intact like a purse. Gently push it apart to reveal the soft juicy innards, and fill them with your tomatoey hummus. Return to the oven for a few minutes to warm through.

Remove your beans from the heat and drain any excess liquid. Beat well with a fork, then top the hummus-stuffed aubergine with the beans. Season with extra lemon and pepper and garnish with any brightly flavoured herb; basil, mint, parsley or coriander, or none. Enjoy warm.

 (You may notice I have changed from pricing my recipes at Sainsburys after 6 years of consistently doing so. Sainsburys are major donors to the Conservative Party and I can no longer in good conscience promote them on my website. I will be pricing my recipes at other supermarkets from now on.)

 This blog is free to those who need it, and always will be, but it does of course incur costs to run and keep it running. If you use it and benefit, enjoy it, and would like to keep it going, please consider popping something in the tip jar, and thankyou.

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  1. I applaud & support your choice not to acknowledge Sainsbury in your blogs. Unfortunately Asda is no better – apart from anything else, it’s owned by Walmart, the largest retailer of firearms in U.S. I wish I could recommend an alternative, but suspect all major food retailers have issues we don’t support. I suspect the one with the least baggage is the Co-op. The problem being it’s not the cheapest.
    On a much more positive note, I’m a recent new reader of your blogs & really enjoy them!

  2. My thoughts exactly – how hard it is to shop with a conscience when you have limited funds. What a lovely recipe Jack!

  3. Hi! Excellent looking recipe, I’m an aubergine addict and v excited, thank you. One quick question, you mentioned herbs to go in the tomato-y hummus. Which would you recommend?

  4. Likewise, I applaud your distancing yourself from Sainsbury’s, Jack. Apart from their Tory allegiance, their prices are not just creeping up, they’re leaping up, Basics staples are getting harder to find, and some have disappeared altogether, leaving us scrimpers to either pay more or go elsewhere. I know you don’t eat meat, but the other day I found a 907g pack of really lean cooking bacon in Home Bargains for £1.29. That’s enough for 18 portions of macaroni messup (I’ll send you the recipe if you want it – you can always use something smoky in place of bacon). I’ve embraced the pound shops and not-quite-pound-shops now as they have such a good range of foody stuff between them and are well worth the time spent scouting around.

    • Soz Pete I happen to like my recipes even better when they’re from someone who has actual lived experience of trying to eat through grinding poverty (not that I’m glad Monroe had to go through that, much the opposite rly) but if you want a recipe book from a class traitor (not a blog, blogs don’t make money obv) I hear Jamie Oliver puts them out pretty much yearly?

      [On second thoughts, feel free not to put this one through the moderation queue, I’m already humming the Internationale too often as it is.]

  5. Hi Jack, I love your recipes, especially now they are all vegan. What do you do with all the aquafaba from your beans & chickpeas? Mine lanquishes in the freezer until I stick it into soups to get rid of it! I’m not a fan of sweet stuff, so was wondering if there are any savoury recipes you use it in. Thanks.

  6. Just heard you on Radio 4 so had to take a peek at your blog! I’ve always maintained that you don’t need to spend a fortune to eat tasty, healthy food – we had very little money when I was a child and my mother always produced good food for us. I’m vegan and gluten free now, but still have the same belief 🙂 I like the tone of your blog, and you must be inspiring many, many people. Good on you, keep it up x
    Oh … and Belinda, you can use aquafaba as a substitute for egg to bind savoury goodies, not just to make meringues:)

  7. I made this today. I’m vegan and worry I don’t get enough protein variety so thus was ideal. I Chopped a few leftover black olives and 2 sun-dried tomatoes into the hummus as I had them in the fridge.

    Ate it With a baked potato done in the oven at the same time.

    Easily enough for two good lunches.

    The bean mix had quite a bit of water/stock left over so I will keep that for a soup

    First of your recipes I’ve ever made, won’t be the last!

  8. I made it tonight using two small aubergine . After 40 mins I felt they had not creamed up enough so i used scissors to open and dribbled in a little Olive oil and gave them another 10 min. As basil was shown in picture I used some leaves in the chuck pea mix. I ate with toasted soda bread – as both were new to me I baked bread separately and had some at tea time before eating in the evening. The texture of bread was good but felt flavour wise i should have added a pinch of salt and at tea time probably a little sugar.

  9. Yummy! Made it today for Mother’s Day lunch. I gave everyone an individual aubergine and it went down very well. I’ll be making it again. Thank you for this recipe!

  10. Just come across your blog. Absolutely fantastic , cheap excellent recipes. Should be a must for all young people on a budget, or not . I will certainly advise my kids to view your blog.
    Well done jack

  11. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes. I made your creamy bean & aubergine for dinner last night and it was delicious. Definitely going on my list of favourites.

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