Saturday, 11 June 2011

The dish that has no name, or could be 'The aubergine bake thingy'!

 *This recipe has been veganized March 2016. The original pictures are still on this page but I will update them with the new ones soon! Thank you for your patience while I create vegan versions of my old veggie recipes!

I looked outside the window this morning and was delighted by the blue skies! Although I know our plants appreciate the rain, I really do adore the sunshine and that lovely glow and energy it gives you so I can't help but jump around and act like a big kid when I see blue skies!

I decided that we'd definitely have something summery for dinner, maybe a veggie stir fry with quinoa and a green salad. Then, as soon as I put my washing out (how did it know?!), it became overcast and chilly. Boo. Although I do adore veggie stir fry, I now found myself wanting a rich bake type dish. I don't do a huge amount of oven bakes, but I do have one amazing dish that I love to cook on days like this, the dish that has no name! Or as we refer to it here, the aubergine bake thingy. If anybody can think of a name feel free to post a suggestion! ;)

I created this dish a while ago now. It came to me on a day much like today. I fancied something warm and comforting, a moussaka type dish, but without the meat. I remembered I had some left over olive bread and thought it would be fabulous in a veggie dish layered with aubergine and (vegan) mozzarella, and so this dish was born!

The girls really enjoy this, it is a real family friendly crowd pleaser of a dinner! It is also really great to cook if you have friends or family over. You can prep it all the night before so all you need to do is bung it in the oven, which means you get to spend more time chilling in good company than slaving away in the kitchen: bonus!

The aubergine bake thingy
2 medium aubergines
5-6 slices of a natural unrefined olive bread
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 large tomatoes, sliced
1 bottle of passata
2 tsp dried or fresh oregano
Handful of vegan mozarella (we like mozzarisella)
About 2 big handfuls of vegan parmesan- we love violife parmesan style cheese
A handful of fresh basil leaves
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
Thinly slice the aubergines lengthwise, pop onto baking trays and cook until soft, about 25 mins.
In a pan, saute the onions and garlic until just cooked through, not browned. While they are cooking, lightly brush the bread sliced with olive oil and grill or griddle them until lightly toasted.

When the onions are beautifully translucent and soft, add the passata, oregano, salt and pepper and gently simmer for 5 mins.
Now you can start building up the dish!
In a casserole dish or deep oven dish, cover the bottom of the pan with about a 3rd of the tomato sauce. Top this with a layer of the aubergine, half of the remaining sauce and then the bread slices. Sprinkle on the grated vegan parmesan.

Add another layer of aubergine and the rest of the tomato sauce on the top. Sprinkle over the basil, then the sliced tomatoes.

Finally finish with the vegan mozarella, and spread this over the top.
Pop this in the oven for about 35 mins or until the cheese is melted and golden and the sauce is bubbling away!


  1. Ellie, I'm inspired by your recipe. So tonight I'm making something similar, with eggplants (that's what we call aubergines in American), spaghetti sauce instead of passata (whatever that is) and garlic bread. Will let you know how it turns out!

  2. Ooooh excited to hear how it turns out!
    Passata is just sieved tomatoes, it usually comes in jars/bottles instead of cans like chopped tomatoes do :)