Wholewheat Aubergine Lasagne
Seeing herself (Mrs. Any Given Food) post to Facebook yesterday that – and this a very public statement, mind – she would have dinner ready on and waiting when I got home from work, and that I would eat every bit of it, was a rare treat to behold. Not that she would be cooking, but to make a statement like that is a bold move.
It was in comment to the post yesterday on National Vegetarian Week which is running in Ireland and the UK until this coming Sunday. Driving ourselves to cook at home for the week and wind up with a dinner and lunch for the following day, the good lady took up the challenge last night, starting things off with a wholewheat aubergine lasagne accompanied by a tomato, black olive and beetroot salad.
- 6-8 wholewheat pasta sheets
- 2 small aubergines, thinly sliced lengthways
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed with a sprinkle of salt
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 can butter beans, drained
- 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
- 1 tsp stock powder
- Salt and pepper
- 40g real butter
- 10g strong white flour (may require more to thicken)
- 250ml milk
- 200g grated red cheddar cheese
- 1. Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4.
- 2. Brush the aubergine with a little oil, season with salt and pepper, then place onto a hot griddle pan. Cook for 5 minutes on either side, or until sear marks are formed. When all of the slices are cooked set to one side.
- 3. Gently fry the onions in the remaining oil for 5 minutes. Then add the garlic, tomatoes, carrot, beans and herbs. Once it’s hot, sprinkle in the stock powder. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Season as required.
- 4. To make the cheese sauce: first melt the butter on a gentle heat. Then add the flour, stirring constantly. Stir for 1 minute, then add the milk a little at a time. The sauce will thicken as the heat increases. When all the milk has been added continue to stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add 100g of the cheese, stir and set to one side.
- 5. To assemble: place half the tomato sauce into a deep oven-proof dish. Top with slices of aubergine, pasta and then cheese sauce.
- 6. Repeat, ending up with a final layer of cheese sauce, making sure the pasta is covered.
- 7. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Add the final 50g grated cheese and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Adapted from National Vegetarian Week's challenge recipes for 2014.
To accompany the lasagne, a flavoured packed tomato, black olive and beetroot salad which essentialy comes down to adding chopped tomatoes, black olives, diced raw beetroot, fresh lettuce leaves, pine nuts, dry crispy onions (think frazzled onions) into a large bowl and mixing with a little lemon juice for the zing factor.
A seriously good start to proceedings. Only thing is now, she’s gone and set the bar for the rest of the week so I might just take a few days off cooking.
What say you, are you getting involved in the National Vegetarian Week challenge?