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Roasted Aubergine Tian, Seared Vegan Halloumi, Spiced Lentils, Romesco & Salsa Verde

By Nick Claxton-Webb, also posted in News on

Roasted Aubergine Tian, Seared Vegan Halloumi, Spiced Lentils, Romesco & Salsa Verde 

Serves 4 


Preparate your Romesco, Salsa Verde, and Spiced Lentils in advance. 


For the Romesco 

The following recipe will fill a 1 kilo Kilner jar. 


You will need: 

1 sterilised Kilner jar 

3 whole, large Red Peppers 

1 whole Red Chilli 

3 Cloves of Garlic, husk on 

1 sprig of Thyme 

1 sprig of Rosemary 

300mls Olive Oil 

2 slices of Stale Bread, broken up 

1 small handful of Cherry Plum Tomatoes 

200g ground Almonds 

Juice of 1 Lemon 

3 teaspoons of Smoked Paprika 

Maldon Sea Salt, for seasoning 




  • Preheat the oven to 200⁰C or 180⁰C for a fan assisted oven. 

  • Place the thyme, rosemary, garlic, and chilli onto a small oven safe frying pan. Arrange the peppers on top. Sprinkle with a good glug of olive oil and season with Maldon Salt. 

  • Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes. It is important to roast the vegetables whole so that they retain their juices and steam. 

  • The skins of the peppers should be soft and wrinkly. Allow them to cool slightly before handling. We need to conserve all the juices from the peppers and the pan, so working inside the pan carefully lift the stalks off the peppers and the chilli. It should lift straight off. 

  • Pull the peppers and the chilli apart and carefully remove the seeds and skin. Transfer the flesh to a large jug. Carefully remove the garlic from the husks. It should be beautifully soft and smoky. Add this to the jug. 

  • Put a sieve over jug and pour in the remaining contents of the pan. We want those juices but none of the debris. Discard the waste and the sieve. 

  • Add the bread, tomatoes, ground almonds, paprika, lemon juice and olive oil to the jug.  Using a stick blender puree until smooth and creamy. 

  • Once smooth, transfer it to your Kilner jar. Allow it to cool, cover and refrigerate until needed. 

  • We like it smooth and velvety. It can also be made very rustic, resembling pesto but however you finish it it’s always delicious. Smoky, spicy, and garlicky. Classically matched with fish but also great with steak or pork, and amazing with charred broccoli or asparagus. 



For the Salsa Verde 


You will need: 

1 bunch of Flat Leaf Parsley 

1 bunch of Mint 

1 bunch of Coriander 

2 good handfuls of Baby Spinach 

3 Banana Shallots, peeled and roughly chopped 

50g Capers, drained 

50g Cornichons, drained 

2 Cloves of Fresh Garlic, peeled 

½ a Red Chilli 

200mls Olive Oil 



  • Place the shallots, capers, cornichons, chilli, and garlic into the food processor along with the olive oil and make a smooth paste. 

  • Add the parsley, mint, and coriander, and continue to process until smooth. 

  • Add the spinach to the mixer and pulse until smooth. 

  • Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until needed. 



For the Spiced lentils 


You will need: 

100g Lentils 

1 pinch of Ground Cumin 

40g chopped Red Onions 

25mls Balsamic Vinegar 

1 Clove of Garlic, minced 

20g Pickled Ginger 

25mls Soy Sauce 

2 Lemons, juiced 



  • Soak the lentils overnight in plenty of cold water. 

  • Simmer the lentils for 20 minutes in salted water, or until they are tender. Drain and leave to cool. 

  • Warm the cumin in a dry pan to release the flavours. Add the onions vinegar and garlic and cook for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. 

  • Allow to cool and store in an airtight container. 

  • Warm gently to serve, when required. 



For the Roasted Aubergine Tian 


You will need: 

2 medium Aubergines, sliced width-wise into finger width slices 

1 sprig of Thyme, picked 

1 sprig of Rosemary, picked 

1 Clove of Garlic, peeled 

300mls of quality Virgin Olive Oil 

2 Good pinches of Maldon Sea Salt 

2 turns of milled Black Pepper 

Zest of 1 large Unwaxed Lemon 

2 Beef Tomatoes, cut into finger width slices 

400g Washed Baby Spinach, quickly sauteed and seasoned 

2 Vegan Halloumi 



  • Season the tomato slices with Maldon Salt, black pepper and the lemon zest. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle over a pinch of the picked thyme. 

  • In a measuring jug, add the hard herbs, garlic, remaining lemon zest.  Cover well with 300mls of olive oil and using a hand blender make a smooth marinade.  

  • In a mixing bowl marinate the aubergine slices in 200mls of the olive oil marinade. Cover and leave for 30 minutes to steep.  

  • Slice the Vegan Halloumi lengthways and marinade in the remaining 100mls of the olive oil marinade, and a couple of turns of black pepper.  

  • In a hot, heavy bottomed frying pan, sear the aubergine slices until golden brown, and season. 

  • Place the aubergine slices onto a baking tray into a hot oven for 5 minutes. 

  • Place the tomatoes into the same oven for 2 minutes, allowing them to warm through but not soften. 

  • Then you can build your Tians: Layer one aubergine slice with tomato and a spoonful of spinach. Repeat that order and then top with a final aubergine slice. 

  • Place the Tians onto silicon paper and set aside. They will need 5-10 mins in a moderate oven to warm through before service. 

  • In a hot, heavy bottomed frying pan, sear the Halloumi until golden brown. Use the marinade to fry the cheese. Add a twist of pepper but do not add salt as the cheese is quite salty already. 

  • Serve with the Romesco, Salsa Verde, and the Spiced Lentils. 

  • The dish eats well with winter greens, sprouts, or broccoli. 


Nick Claxton-Webb