Source: Garden-chair dining: Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for sweet-and-sour aubergine orzo

Sweet-and-Sour Aubergine Orzo

Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Aubergine, Orzo
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4 people


  • 2 aubergines 700g, cut into 2cm dice
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 460 g flame-roasted peppers 1 jar, juice reserved and cut into 1cm dice
  • 2 tsp light brown soft sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
  • 300 g orzo
  • 100 g baby spinach shredded
  • 10 g fresh oregano leaves


  • Heat the oven to 210C (190C fan)/410F/gas 6½. Put the diced aubergine in a large bowl, then add five tablespoons of oil and sprinkle over half a teaspoon of salt. Stir to mix well, then tip into a large baking dish.
  • Put the sliced onion in a second baking dish, add three tablespoons of oil and a half-teaspoon of salt, stir to coat, then spread out so that the onion pieces are sitting toe-to-toe rather than on top of each other. Put the pine nuts in a small ovenproof dish.
  • Put both veg dishes in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, adding the pine nuts after 15. When the vegetables have had 25 minutes, take out all three dishes: the aubergines should be soft and brown, the onions reduced and caramelised, and the pine nuts lightly golden.
  • Tip the aubergines into the onion dish, then stir in the peppers, sugar, vinegar, capers, tomato paste, orzo and three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt. Make the reserved pepper juice up to 400ml with just-boiled water, add to the pot and then stir gently to mix well. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, lift off the foil, then mix in the shredded spinach, oregano and toasted pine nuts, cover again lightly with the foil and leave to rest for five minutes, until wilted. Distribute between four bowls or plates, and serve.


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