Griddled Aubergine and bean salad with pesto dressing

Rinsed, tinned organic beans work just as well as dried ones here
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 100g/4oz dried flageolet or pinto beans, soaked in cold water overnight then drained
  • 2 fairly small aubergines
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 100g/4oz baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp basil pesto
  • A few black olives


Bring the beans to the boil in a pan of cold water. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes then reduce the heat, part-cover the pan and simmer for 40 minutes until tender. In the final 10 minutes of cooking time, trim the aubergines and cut lengthways into 5mm/¼in slices. Preheat a lightly oiled char-grill pan, add the aubergine and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until tender and striped.

Drain the beans and return to the pan. Add 2 tbsp of the oil, the garlic, some seasoning and a little lemon juice, followed by the tomatoes and spring onions. Toss the mixture over a gentle heat to warm through.

Blend the pesto with 3 tbsp olive oil. Add a dash of lemon juice if liked. Combine the aubergine with the bean mix and spoon into bowls. Drizzle with the pesto, scatter with olives and serve with crusty bread.