Joe Woodhouse blends textures, spices and flavours in an endlessly inventive manner, while using simple ingredients to make embracing a more plant-based diet a breeze.

Enjoy his recipe for Aubergine Parmigiana from his new cookbook, Your Daily Veg, which he recently shared with us here. It’s prime time for finding the glossy and elegant aubergine at your local market and/or supermarket. Although available all year round, they're at their best in season – and cheapest – from July to September.

Aubergine parmigiana

This is indulgent but not overly rich. Grilling the aubergines adds a touch of smokiness and dramatically reduces the amount of oil involved. I often used to have a plate of parmigiana from a local Italian café on my lunch break when I lived in Leeds. The café was one of those old-school places where the grandmother is still running the show. As was the case then with the prepared dishes, this is great eaten the next day or beyond that, when the flavours have really married together. Additionally you can happily assemble the day before and keep in the refrigerator overnight before baking. Let the parmigiana set for about 30 minutes once out of the oven, as this helps everything stay together and lessens the molten lava effect. I like to serve with a simple green salad or cucumber lightly dressed in vinegar.


Serves: 4-6



•​​ 2 tablespoons olive oil
•​​ 1 red onion, roughly diced
•​​ 8 garlic cloves, sliced
•​​ 100ml (31⁄2fl oz) white wine
•​​ 2 × 400g (14oz) cans plum tomatoes
•​​ 1 tablespoon dried oregano
•​​ 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


•​​ 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
•​​ 4 aubergines, sliced lengthways about 1.5–2cm (5/8–3⁄4 inch) thick
•​​ 100g (31⁄2oz) Parmesan cheese, finely grated or blitzed in a spice grinder or food processor
•​​ 125g (9oz) breadcrumbs
•​​ 20g (3⁄4oz) basil, leaves picked
•​​ 500g (101⁄2oz) mozzarella, drained and sliced
•​​ sea salt flakes and black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes until starting to turn translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and let the alcohol bubble off for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and oregano, then half-fill each tomato can with water and add, rinsing out the cans as you go. Roughly break or split open the tomatoes with a spoon. Add in the water from the tins. Gently simmer for about 20–30 minutes until reduced and thickened.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Blend with the extra olive oil until mostly smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat. Coat the aubergines with a tablespoon or so of oil and, working in batches, grill on each side for 4-6 minutes until charred and cooked through.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6. Spoon some sauce on the base of a square falcon bake tray, 25 × 25cm (10 × 10 inch), followed by a scattering of Parmesan and a small handful of the breadcrumbs and basil leaves. Top with a layer of aubergine, cutting them to fit if needed. Repeat the layering in this manner but adding some of the mozzarella after the sauce each time. Finish with a layer of tomato, cheese and breadcrumbs.

Drizzle with the remaining oil and bake in the oven for 40–50 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 20–30 minutes before serving.

Purchase Your Daily Veg here



Pigeon Grey Prep Set

White with Blue Rim Square Bake Tray

Pigeon Grey 24cm Plates


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