Prep time:

Cooking time: 37 minutes

Total time:

Serves: 2

3tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Zested or Grated Zest of 1/2 Small Lemon

1 Large Aubergine

¼ Medium Red Onion

¼ Cucumber

100g Feta

12 Black Olives, pitted

4tbsp Sliced Basil

1 Beefsteak Tomato

4tsp Tomato Chutney

Salt, Sugar and Smoked Paprika

Alex has created adventurous yet achievable meals for the whole family to savour...

  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/Gas 7, position upper middle shelf.
  2. Start with the dressing. Get a small bowl. Add the 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, 2 tbsp of lemon juice and ½ tsp of smoked paprika. Mix together well. Season to taste with salt and sugar.
  3. Next, prepare the aubergine. Cut it in half lengthways. Score the flesh side in a criss-cross pattern. Peel or slice a 10cm long, 3cm wide strip of skin off the bottom of each half. Cut each half across into two. Get a small baking tray. Line it with greaseproof or non-stick baking paper. Put the aubergine quarters on the baking tray. Brush the top and bottom of the aubergine vigorously with half the dressing. Make sure the aubergine is criss-cross side up. Roast for 20-25 minutes until the flesh is soft.
  4. While the aubergine roasts, prepare the Greek salad. Get a medium-sized shallow bowl. Add the onion, a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar and the 1 tsp of lemon juice. Toss to mix. Let sit for 5 minutes. Next, add the cucumber, half the feta, the olives, basil and remaining dressing. Mix together very gently so you don’t break up the feta too much. Season to taste.
  5. Cut the beefsteak tomato in half. Slice it very thinly. Spread the tomato slices over your plates. Season the slices with salt and smoked paprika.
  6. Once the aubergine quarters are ready, spread 2 heaped tsp of chutney on two of them. Top with the remaining feta. Put a second quarter aubergine on top of each. Press down gently. Roast for 2 minutes.
  7. Put the aubergine ‘burgers’ on top of the tomatoes. Brush each ‘burger’ with ½ tsp of olive oil. Spoon the Greek salad to one side. Serve with the polenta chips.

Cook extra: Make extra portion(s) of the recipe. Cut the roast aubergine into cubes. Mix with the other ingredients to make a salad or stuffing for a wrap.

Quick polenta:

Since I was introduced to 1-minute polenta I’ve turned to it for a side dish every time I want mash but don’t have time. Polenta is just ground corn.

The basic technique for 2 portions: put 450ml water, milk or stock into a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and add 80g 1-minute polenta in a slow, steady stream. Whisk nonstop until there are no lumps. Return to the heat and bring to the boil. Stir for 1 minute. Be careful as it will boil volcanically. Take the pan off the heat. Stir in 25g grated Cheddar and 25g butter or olive oil. The polenta will be quite soupy, like very soft porridge, but it will thicken as it cools. If it gets firmer than you’d like before you’re ready to serve, add 2-3 tbsp of boiling water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Quick polenta chips: Use 110g polenta and 400ml stock. Cook as above, then spread the polenta to a 3cm thickness in an oiled tray or container. Leave it in the fridge for an hour to set, or for up to 2 days. Cut the hard polenta into chips. Heat a non-stick frying pan. When it’s very hot, shallow-fry the polenta chips with vegetable oil over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until golden.

  • words:
  • pictures: Peter Knab

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