Today's dish is a very experimental vegetable bake. Originally I had the idea of layering vegetables in a way like almost making a lasagne without the pasta sheets. However when it came to the layering stage, I just put the slices standing up on their sides instead. It kind of worked, but maybe next time I will try that pastaless lasagne version as well. This bake is full of veggies and only low on cheese, and I think it's very suitable as a weekday meal. I added a pesto type rocket sauce on the top to add more flavour to the bake.
Olive oil for roasting
25 g mature cheddar
50 g fresh rocket
4 garlic cloves
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp ground black pepper
Try to select vegetables that have approximately the same diameter as then the bake looks more even in your oven dish. I didn't quite plan to make this dish long enough, so my vegetables were a bit variable in size. Cut the aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes into thin slices.
Soak the aubergine slices in salted water for 30 minutes to remove the bitterness. Then drain and roast them brushed with olive oil. They don't have to be fully roasted, as they will return to the oven, but just a bit softened and soaked in olive oil. I decided to pre-roast them in order to avoid them being chewy.
Let the aubergine slices cool a little, so that you are able to handle them. Then layer the aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes next to each other into an oven dish.
Make the rocket sauce by puréeing the ingredients together into an even paste. Pour the sauce on top of the vegetables and also sprinkle the grated cheese on the top.
Bake at 180C for about 40-50 minutes until all vegetables are nicely cooked. Done!