About this recipe:This is an easy to make and healthy vegetarian dish that is surprisingly flavourful considering it only calls for a handful of ingredients! Thinly sliced aubergine is layered with pasta sauce, feta cheese and basil, then topped with seasoned breadcrumbs.
Slice the tops off of the aubergines, then cut lengthways into very thin (3mm) slices. Sprinkle slices with sea salt, then place in a colander set over a bowl or the sink. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, or up to a few hours, so that the aubergine releases its bitter juices. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220 C / Gas 7.
After at least 20 minutes of sitting, take the aubergine and brush off excess salt, then pat dry with kitchen paper.
Once the aubergine is ready, take two baking trays and brush with olive oil (you may want to line with baking parchment first to prevent sticking). Place the aubergine slices in a single layer onto the baking trays, then brush the tops with a bit of olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the aubergine is very soft and tender and is starting to brown on the edges. Turn once halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, slice the feta and sprinkle with oregano and chilli powder. Take a small baking dish (16cm or similar) and place 2 spoonfuls of pasta sauce on the bottom.
Once the aubergine is ready, place a double layer of aubergine slices on top of the pasta sauce already in the baking dish. Arrange one-third of the basil leaves over top, then one-third of the feta and finally a few more spoonfuls of pasta sauce. Repeat these layers, ending with pasta sauce. Finally, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the whole lot.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 20 minutes, until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbly. Serve with good crusty bread!
Season the breadcrumbs with salt, pepper and oregano to taste for great flavour.
You can use more or less of your favourite pasta sauce to taste.
Leftovers are fantastic heated under the grill the next day!