Aubergine and Tomato Bake
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- Serves: 4
- Preparation: 20
- Cooking: 80
- Ready: 100
Layers of succulent aubergine and tangy Kalamata olive and tomato sauce, all topped with vegan mozzarella and crunchy pine nuts!
- 100 ml olive oil, plus extra to grease
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 140 g tomato purée
- 80 g Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 60 g plain or white spelt flour
- 2 aubergines, trimmed and cut lengthways into 5mm-thick slices
- 200 g vegan mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- sea salt and freshly
- ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C)/350°F (fan 320°F)/gas mark 4 (fan gas mark 3) and lightly grease a medium-sized baking dish with oil.
Put 2 tablespoons of the oil into a large pan with a lid and place over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook gently for 8–10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato purée, olives, herbs, vinegar, a teaspoon of salt and a quarter of a teaspoon of pepper, then bring to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring now and again, until slightly reduced. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Meanwhile, place the flour in a wide shallow bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Coat each slice of aubergine in the seasoned flour and set aside. Put another 2 tablespoons of the olive
oil into a large non-stick frying pan and place over a medium-high heat. Working in batches, so as not to overcrowd the pan, fry the floured aubergine slices for 3–4 minutes on each side until golden. Continue until all are fried, adding more oil as needed.
Cover the base of the greased baking dish with a thin layer of the tomato sauce, then add a layer of aubergine and continue layering until you have used up all of the ingredients. Mix the grated mozzarella with the pine nuts and scatter over the top of the dish. Season with a little more salt and pepper and bake for 30–40 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbling. Serve immediately.
Recipe taken from Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen: Over 90 plant-based recipes to save the planet and nourish the soul, by Linda, Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, published by Seven Dials in hardback on 24 June 2021 at £26.
“This really is a feast – layers of succulent aubergine and tangy Kalamata olive and tomato sauce, all topped with vegan mozzarella and crunchy pine nuts. Mouthwatering. Any leftovers keep well for a couple of days and can be reheated for a quick lunch.”