Roasted Aubergine Lasagna

Roasted Aubergine Lasagna

Roasted Aubergine Lasagna, The Plant Kitchen, Photography copyright © Ryland Peters & Small 2020.

The Paint Kitchen More and more of us are cutting out animal protein and products from our diets, or at the very least reducing them. Sticking to your resolve to eat a meat-free diet is going to be so much easier when your food is easy to prepare and exciting to eat. This is where The Plant Kitchen comes in.

Many of these recipes rely on a rainbow of fresh produce, alongside tasty vegan sources of protein, such as beans, lentils, and nuts. Seasonings and sauces take their inspiration from all around the world, creating hearty and nourishing meals with eye-popping colour and irresistible flavour. From tender peas, asparagus, and baby carrots and sun-burnished bell peppers and tomatoes, to the starchy roots and potatoes of the colder months, there is a plant-based recipe here that will showcase seasonal produce all year round, satisfy your appetite, and take you on a voyage of vegan food discovery.

The Plant Kitchen: 100 easy recipes for vegan beginners is available at Amazon.com an Indigo.ca.


Roasted Aubergine Lasagna

SERVES 6–8

You can’t beat a homemade lasagna. This dish benefits from being left overnight and baked the following day, but a few hours in the fridge will do the job if pushed for time. The lentils can be substituted for vegan ‘mince.’

Lentil mixture

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

250 g/generous 1 1/4 cups Puy lentils

750 ml/31/4 cups vegetable stock, plus extra if needed

12 large tomatoes

1 carrot, diced

1 red (bell) pepper

1 celery stalk, diced

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

1 bay leaf

Handful of fresh marjoram

Handful of fresh thyme

2 tablespoons tomato purée/paste

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

 

Aubergine/Eggplant layer

2 aubergines/eggplants

2 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

‘Béchamel’

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste

2 tablespoons plain/all-purpose flour

400 ml/scant 13/4 cups almond or soy milk

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

 

To assemble

1 packet of egg-free lasagne sheets

120 g/4 oz. grated vegan Italian-style

Hard cheese

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Start with the lentil mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a pan and sauté half of the onion and 1 clove of crushed garlic until softened. Add the lentils and sauté for a further minute, then add the stock and simmer until the lentils are fully cooked and soft. Add further stock as needed; you are aiming for the lentils to absorb most of the liquid without leaving too much broth.

Preheat the oven to 210°C (410°F) Gas 6.

Remove the cores from the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, along with the remaining crushed garlic and cook in the oven until roasted and almost starting to blacken. Blitz with a hand blender and set aside. 

To make the aubergine/eggplant layer, remove the ends of the aubergines/eggplants. Slice them lengthways into 1.5 cm/1/2 in. thick slices. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and season. Roast on high heat until golden brown and soft. Set aside.

Reduce the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.

Back to the lentil mixture. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan and sauté the remaining half of onion, along with the carrot, red (bell) pepper and celery, then add the cooked lentils, soy sauce, bay leaf, the fresh marjoram and thyme. Add the blended tomatoes and the tomato purée/paste. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the salt and pepper, then adjust the seasoning according to taste.

To make the ‘béchamel,’ heat the olive oil in small, deep pan, add the salt, white pepper and flour, and cook to make a roux. Gently cook the paste for 2–3 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking all the time, until it reaches a creamy sauce consistency. Add the bay leaf and the mustard powder, and simmer for 2–3 minutes. Check the seasoning. Layer some ‘béchamel’ sauce in the bottom of a large, deep baking dish and cover with lasagne sheets. Add half the lentil and tomato mixture, followed by a layer of aubergine/eggplant, using all the slices and overlapping them to create a thick layer. Add the remaining lentil mixture, a layer of lasagne sheets and top with the ‘béchamel’. Sprinkle with vegan cheese, salt and pepper.

Bake for 30–40 minutes until bubbling and the top is golden brown.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Ryland, Peters & Small.

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