Mediterranean Vegetable Bake
Here is a super-healthy recipe for vegetarian sunshine bake with garlic, aubergines, red and yellow peppers, courgettes, red onion, tomatoes, mozzarella and Parmesan
This is the essence of the Mediterranean diet. It’s not just the vitamins A, C and E that you get from the oil and fresh vegetables, but the anti-oxidant properties in onions, garlic, aubergines and tomatoes that make this such a protective dish. There’s an added bonus from calcium in the cheese and antibacterial essential oils from the oregano. Health benefits aside, this dish smells wonderful when it’s cooking and it looks like a plate of sunshine.
3 Spanish onions
6 tbspns olive oil
2 cloves garlic
3 large sprigs fresh oregano
2 smallish aubergines
5 medium courgettes
6 medium tomatoes
450g (1lb) fresh, young mozzarella cheese
5 tbspns freshly grated Parmesan
6 sprigs dill
Peel and slice the onions and soften them in the olive oil for 5 mins, but do not brown
Finely chop the garlic, add to the onion mixture and continue cooking for 3 mins
Pull the leaves off the oregano (if using fresh). Stir into the onion mixture and take off the heat.
Cut the aubergine into half centimetre slices, put onto a baking tray in a single layer, sprinkle with salt and bake for 8 mins at 200C/400F/ gas 6, until softened.
Trim the courgettes and take rough edges off the skin. Cut to the same width as the aubergines.
Cut the tomatoes and slice the mozzarella to the same width. Put the onion and herb mixture into an ovenproof dish.
Arrange the aubergine, courgette, tomato and mozzarella alternately in the dish, standing them on their sides.
When they’re all arranged, push down gently with the palms of your hands and season with black pepper.
Put back into the oven and bake for about an hour.
Sprinkle over the Parmesan and cook for another 10 mins.
Serve with the whole sprigs of dill scattered on the top.
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