I hope you’re having a great week, and are looking forward to the Easter long weekend. At this stage I have NOTHING planned, but last weekend was a little bit crazy! It was filled with lots of lovely celebrations – baby showers and birthdays.
It was wonderful catching up with all our friends, although the only thing I missed was my weekly visit to the farmers market. Every Sunday I get up and get to the farmers market early (so I can get the best stuff) and I treat myself to a juice from this raw juice stand. It has loads of ingredients I would never usually put in at home like coriander and parsley, but it has this wonderful ginger kick. It is such a good first-thing, rev-you-up drink.
The last time I was at the farmers market I couldn’t go past these beautiful eggplant at the local organic stand. They were medium-sized eggplant (so not long and slender like the baby eggplant or the big mama’s, more of a circular shape). I’ll be honest, usually I could take or leave eggplant, and I’m not such a fan of that rattatouie taste, but I made this eggplant bake and it just worked…. and it was a failsafe recipe… the best!
- 1 medium-sized eggplant
- 1 jar passata (about 600ml or so - you might not use it all, but it depends on your tastes)
- 2 big handfuls spinach
- 2 Tablespoons chopped basil
- Spray olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup cashews
- 2 Tablespoons almond flour
- Preheat your oven to about 200°C (390°F), and slice and salt your eggplant (i.e. lay it on a paper towel or teacloth and sprinkle salt on top (this draws out moisture, and also stops it from tasting as bitter - and if you're frying it, makes it absorb less oil). Leave for about 30 minutes and then wipe off the excess salt with the teacloth/paper towel. While you're salting the eggplant, also place your cashews in a bowl of water, and also leave for 30 minutes (this makes them softer and blend easier).
- Get a baking dish that is about 15cm x 20cm and spray it with oil so everything doesn't stick as much. Then, layer away. Place a layer of eggplant down, then a layer of spinach, then a layer of passata, and sprinkle on some basil. Then eggplant, spinach, passata and basil again.
- Drain your cashews and place in the blender with about ⅓ cup of water and pulse for a few seconds, until you get an idea of the consistency. Then, gradually add more water until you get the consistency you want. All up I used about ¾ cup of water. It should come out like a beautiful thick, creamy sauce. Pour this over the top until it covers everything, and then sprinkle on the almond flour which will give it a lovely golden colour.
- Place in the oven for about 40-50 minutes - you should be able to see the tomato sauce bubbling up at the edges.
- This keeps in the fridge for about three days.
Have a wonderful Easter break, everyone.
Love and light.