Mel Christensen

Mel Christensen

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Cheesy Eggplant, Spinach and Mushroom Bake

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Cheesy Eggplant, Spinach and Mushroom Bake

*Low Carb, Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants, sliced thickly (about 1.5cm) and sprayed lightly on both sides with olive oil spray
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced or crushed
  • Small handful of fresh or 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 x400 g cans good-quality tinned tomatoes, or 1kg fresh ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. Natvia or preferred sweetener
  • Freshly ground sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 large handful fresh basil
  • 1 medium sized bunch of spinach, washed and chopped roughly
  • 350g large button mushrooms, sliced
  • Handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2  handfuls grated cheese (I used a ‘pizza blend’ but use your choice remembering that generally, the harder the cheese, the higher the fat content)

For the top …

  • a little fresh oregano, leaves chopped
  • 150 g bocconcini balls , optional

 

Method:

  1. Pour a little olive oil into a medium sauce pan on a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and oregano and your sweetener and cook for 10 minutes, until soft. Add tomatoes, breaking them up as you go. Stir, cover and simmer slowly for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, grill the eggplants on both sides until lightly charred – I do this under the grilling element of my oven but you may use a griddle pan instead – you will most likely need to do them in batches as they won’t all fit in pan at once.
  3.  When the tomato sauce is reduced and sweet, season it carefully with salt, pepper and wine vinegar, and add the basil. Set aside.
  4.  In a large fry pan heat a little olive oil and sauté the mushrooms until soft and brown. Throw in your spinach and toss lightly to wilt the spinach.  Cover and turn off heat.
  5. Get yourself an earthenware type dish (25 x 12–15cm). Put in a small layer of tomato sauce, then a thin scattering of cheese, followed by a single layer of eggplants. Follow with a layer of half the spinach and mushroom mixture and press down lightly. Repeat these layers until you’ve used all the ingredients up, finishing with the sauce.  Place your bocconcini balls over the top. (You could use mozzarella here instead.)
  6.  Place the dish in the oven and bake at 190°C for 30-40 mins until golden, crisp and bubbly.  This dish can eaten straight away, but it can also be served cold.   As the flavours develop so well overnight, the leftovers the next day will be fantastic (if it lasts that long!)

Enjoy!!