• STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and cook the shallots with a pinch of salt for about 8 mins, stirring until softened. Add the rice and tomato purée, stirring to coat the rice in the oil for about 1 min. Tip the mixture into a medium baking dish, about 20 x 30cm, then add the garlic and sundried tomatoes.

  • STEP 2

    Tip the chopped tomatoes and 500ml water into the pan, using some of the water to swill out the tomato can. Add the stock cube and return the pan to the heat, stirring to help dissolve the stock. Bring to the boil and carefully pour over the rice mixture in the baking dish. Cover tightly and bake for 1 hr 30 mins until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is golden at the edges.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, score the cut sides of the aubergine halves in a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut through the skin. Scatter the oregano over the aubergine flesh and season. Lightly brush or rub with the remaining oil, pushing the seasoning into the cuts. Put the aubergines in a large baking dish or roasting tin, flesh-side up. When the rice has been in the oven for 15 mins, put the aubergines on a lower shelf to bake for 45 mins, covered, then a further 30-35 mins, uncovered, until golden and soft. Remove both dishes from the oven, cover and set aside.

  • STEP 4

    Combine the capers, olives, pine nuts and basil in a bowl. Stir half through the baked rice using a fork to fluff the rice up slightly. Add the feta and cherry tomatoes to the remaining mixture and season with black pepper. Spoon the rice onto a large serving platter and top with the aubergine halves. Spoon the feta mixture over the aubergines, drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and garnish with the extra basil leaves. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, if you like, and serve with a green leafy salad.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2021

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