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 fudging 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.)
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