I love salads and make a huge variety of different ones – mixing traditional and new ingredients with influences from all over the world – but even though there is never a boring salad in our house, sometimes it’s nice to have an accompaniment to the barbecue that isn’t salad and this ticks that box, delightfully! I’ve entitled it ‘Mediterranean’ but that’s just what the aromas and flavours felt like to me but no matter how you describe this Mary Berry-inspired dish, it’s quite delicious and a really lovely change.
Serves 6 as a side
What you need…
1 large roasting tin
1 x 25cm shallow round ovenproof dish, lightly buttered
2 aubergines, sliced
2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced
500g courgettes, trimmed and sliced
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon caster sugar
A handful basil, chopped
50g Parmesan, grated
3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 teaspoons thyme leaves
Sea salt and black pepper
When I tried this, there were only 3 of us, so the ingredients were halved, hence the smaller dish in the photograph. Ingredients above are for the full recipe, for 6 people.
What to do…
Preheat your oven to 220°c / 425°f / gas 7.
Chuck the aubergines, red peppers and courgettes into the roasting tin, drizzle over 4 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for 15 minutes and then give them a quick mix about before putting them back in the oven for a further 10 minutes or until lightly browned and just soft throughout. Set aside to cool.
Reduce the oven to 200°c / 400°f / gas 6.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and fry over a moderate heat for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Tip in the passata and sugar and then season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, pop on a lid, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and the sauce, thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil.
Spoon half the sauce into the base of your ovenproof dish and then top with half the roasted vegetables, ensuring an even mix of the aubergines, peppers and courgettes. Sprinkle over the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over the rest of the sauce, covering the vegetables and then top with the remaining roasted vegetables, arranging them in a spiral pattern if you like. Finally, plop/arrange the tomato wedges on the top and sprinkle thyme over the lot. You can sprinkle more Parmesan over if you fancy (I did).
Cover with foil and pop in the oven for 25 minutes, whilst you clear up and pour a glass of wine. The smell will be amazing!
Serve your lovely summer Mediterranean vegetables with barbecued meat or fish or as light lunch or supper with a great doorstop of fresh bread. Whichever way, just yummy!
I use Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients’ frozen and chopped garlic just because peeling and chopping fresh garlic is a faff.
I didn’t have any passata so just whizzed a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes in the food processor – this was just for 3 of us but I used all of the tomatoes and the dish tasted great.
As is my want: very, very easy and quite delicious!