Roast aubergine with cherry sauce and jewelled rice

This vegan alternative to the cherry glazed lamb shanks to suit all for a Valentine’s Day dinner. It is just as packed with flavour and beautiful as a meat option.


Peel and finely slice the garlic and cook gently for two or three minutes in olive oil until soft but not too browned. Add the wine, vegetable stock, cinnamon stick and cherries. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to medium. Cook until the sauce is thick and shiny.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the aubergine quarters on a large baking tray, drizzle generously with olive oil and season with salt. Roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until dark golden brown and crisp on the outside.

Cook the rice with 300ml water and a large pinch of salt with the lid on. Once cooked, stir in the butter, herbs, half the pistachios and the dried cherries.

Serve the aubergine on a bed of the rice and finish with a big spoon of the cherry sauce and the remaining pistachios.

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2 medium aubergines, cut lengthwise into quarters
150g fresh cherries, stoned
300ml red wine
400ml vegetable stock
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

200g basmati rice
1 cardamom pod
2 tablespoons olive oil
Handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dill fronds
2 tablespoons dried cherries or cranberries
50g shelled, unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped