Using up: aubergine, some red wine that had gone vinegary, 1/3 of a bag of spinach
We love this sort of food, and eat it often. In the fridge was an aubergine, spinach, and some feta cheese, and Pete had opened a bottle of red wine last week and inexplicably failed to drink most of it, and it had gone over, despite being properly stoppered.
So … I fried a roughly chopped onion and some garlic in a pan until it was soft, then put in about 1 tablespoon of Ras El Hanout spice mix, a fab standby in the cupboard, and fried that round.
Then I added two mugfuls (mugs full?) of red lentils and stirred, 2.5 mugfuls of water, and about 2/3 mug of red wine. Stirred well, brought to the boil and set on a low light to cook for about 45 minutes. You might need to add more fluid – lentils can go splurp and stick to the pan in an unexpected way.
While the lentils were cooking, I sliced an aubergine fairly thinly and fried it till browned, in batches, in olive oil, and set to drain on some kitchen paper. Then I made some basic white sauce with nutmeg grated into it.
Then into an ovenproof dish went the lentils, then the washed and drained spinach, then the white sauce, and topped it off with the aubergine slices. Then we put half a block of feta cheese, diced up small, on top of all that, and bunged it in a hot oven for about 25 minutes.
Cheap (because it works perfectly well with water, or vegetable stock, rather than wine) and delicious.
That amount of lentils made enough for six servings, by the way, so two tubs went into the freezer. You can use it for a faux lasagne too, should you wish – works very well.
And I split the rest of the red wine into two small boxes and froze that too – it might not be good enough to drink, but it’ll be fine to cook with!