Veggie-Friendly Midweek Meals: Pesto and Pecorino Aubergine

Research from the Vegan Society has shown that over a third of Brits’ New Year’s resolutions involve cutting back on animal products. Whether you are already vegan or vegetarian, are looking to keep plant-based meals a staple in your diet post-Veganuary, or simply want to try out a new recipe, this series of veggie-friendly midweek meals is guaranteed to make you want to brave your JCR kitchen. Each week, the recipes will involve less than ten steps and can be ready in under an hour. All ingredient quantities are for one portion, but by all means scale these up to cater for your flatmates (or for delicious leftover lunches).

First in this series is my pesto and pecorino aubergine recipe. Inspired by Delia’s roasted salmon fillets with a crusted pecorino and pesto topping, this vegetarian alternative is just as delicious. Serve with broccoli and new potatoes, couscous or rice for a nutritious, Mediterranean midweek meal. This dish can be made vegan by using vegan pesto and either omitting the pecorino or using an alternative such as the Violife parmesan.


Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes
Cost per serving:
£1.77 (excluding oil, salt and pepper)



1 aubergine

1 tbsp grated vegetarian pecorino cheese (e.g. Tesco’s own)

2 tbsp vegan pesto
juice ½ lemon

2 tbsp breadcrumbs (fresh or dried)
olive oil
salt and pepper



  1. Preheat the oven to 200℃. 
  2. Wash and halve the aubergine, and use a knife to gently score a criss-cross pattern into each half – this will speed up the cooking process.
  3. Place the aubergine halves onto a baking tray. Drizzle with the lemon juice and a little olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for around 40 minutes or until soft when pricked with a fork.
  5. While the aubergine is roasting, add the pesto to a small bowl along with half of the breadcrumbs and mix to form a paste. 
  6. When the aubergine is done, allow to cool slightly and then carefully spread the pesto mixture onto both halves.
  7. Top with the remaining breadcrumbs and pecorino and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until crisp and golden.