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… which Green & Leithy Translate as “Marinated Aubergine and Courgette, roasted in an earthy tomato sauce and layered with nut cheese.

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Yes, this is primarily a non- vegan dish. This is also a vegan dish that doesn’t require faux cheese of any sort; the flavours of the marinade and the sauce sing beautifully on their own. But a note about faux cheese, or should i stress homemade faux cheese- to me its not about trying to replicate cheese (you can buy much closer substitutes) its about playing with the natural properties of plants. Whipping up a little culinary magic. Expressing another of the many ways plants can be transformed into different, flavoursome and interesting dishes from what most non- vegans see as a simple ingredient. To be eaten as is. Nut cheese takes the blissful, pure nature of a plant and opens up a whole new world of tastes and flavours. ‘Nuff said…

Anywhoo, getting back to the dish. The vegetables are marinated in a simple ecstasy of lemon, rosemary and juniper. Fresh, clean and fragrant accents tenderise the vegetables into a near meaty texture. The sauce is full of fresh herbs, heaps of garlic and sweetened by the delicate play of a very gentle amount of balsamic and… beetroot. Beetroot stalks to be precise, earthy, pungent and imbued with the greatest colour in nature.

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The resulting colour is reminiscent of a beautiful red wine. The overall combination of the marinade and sauce sends the tastes into sensory bliss. A delicate yet vibrant dish. Simply complex- i love culinary dichotomies.

(Serves 4, Vegan, Gluten free)
For the veggies:

  • 1 Aubergine
  • 1 large Courgette
  • 4 Juniper Berries
  • 5 Peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
  • juice of 1 Lemon
  • pinch of Sea Salt
  1. Either whiz up the last 4 ingredients or bash in a pestle and mortar
  2. Slice the vegetables lengthways, 1/4″ thick
  3. Pop the vegetables into a food bag and pour in the marinade
  4. Secure the top and shake until everything is coated
  5. Lay onto a roasting tray and leave for at least 1 hour

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 stalk of Celery
  • 4 cloves of Garlic
  • 6-8 large Tomatoes
  • zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Beetroot, peeled
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • pinch of Sea Salt
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh herbs, we used Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Marjoram
  1. Heat your oven to 180c
  2. Pop all the ingredients into a blender/ processor and blitz until fairly smooth

To arrange:

  1. Get a medium/ small roasting tin and ladle a couple of spoonfuls of sauce onto the bottom.
  2. Arrange a layer vegetables over the sauce
  3. Spoon on some faux cheese (our fav recipe is here) and sprinkle some nutritional yeast over
  4. Repeat these layers until you have used all the ingredients, making sure you reserve some sauce for the top
  5. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until bubbling
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