Gluten free, vegan aubergine and butter bean bake. Ready to eat.

Butter Bean and Aubergine Bake is hearty and warming – not quite a casserole or stew it can be sliced for serving. This recipe has three fairly straightforward steps: vegetables, tomato mixture, white sauce and once it is in the oven you can move on to other things while it cooks. The butter bean and aubergine bake goes well with a Cabbage and Carrot Salad or a crisp green salad.

Difficulty easy
Serves 4-6
Preparation time 10 mins
Cooking time 90 mins

Ingredients
Vegetable oil for frying
1 large aubergine
1 courgette
1 tin butter beans
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
500 millilitres passata
0.5 teaspoon asafoetida
1 teaspoon mustard powder
3 tablespoons corn flour
500 millilitres unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 bay leaves
0.5 teaspoon grated nutmeg
100 g spinach

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 190 C (fan). Slice the aubergine into finger-thick slices (circles)
2. Put two to three tablespoon vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat until the oil is hot. Add as many aubergine slices as the pan will hold in a single layer (do not crowd the pan). Cook until gloden on one side. Then turn the slices over and continue frying until similarly coloured. Remove with a slotted spoon and spread out on a plate lined with kitchen paper
4. Cook the remaining aubergine in batches adding more oil to the pan if needed. Set the aubergine slices aside on some kitchen paper
5. Slice the courgette. Put the frying pan on a medium heat and add one tablespoon vegetable oil. Add the sliced courgettes and fry until lightly golden on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside with the aubergine
6. Add the drained butter beans and thyme (pulled from the sprigs) to the frying pan and fry gently. Add the passata (use a few tablespoons of warm water to get all of the passata from the container). Bring to a low simmer and cook for ~50 mins until the sauce reduces and thickens
7. Whilst the tomato sauce is cooking you can make the white sauce – in a small sauce pan add 1 tbs vegetable oil and put on a low heat
8. Add the asafoetida to the oil and cook for 30-60 seconds. Then add the mustard powder and corn flour and cook for approximately one minute. The mixture will be thick and dry
9. Slowly add the non-dairy milk 2-3 tbs at a time stirring well to make sure there are no lumps. A whisk is good for this. Once all the non-dairy milk has been added add the bay leaves and half of the gated nutmeg – keep stirring while it thickens – and bring to a low simmer for approximately two minutes
10. In a baking dish (~15 x 25 cm) place a very shallow layer of the tomato mixture in the bottom of the dish (to stop sticking). Then add a layer using half of the aubergine and courgette, a layer using half of spinach and a layer using half of the tomato mixture. Repeat so you have two layers of each
11. Top with the white sauce, grated nutmeg, season with salt and pepper and bake in a preheated oven (190 C) for 40 mins until golden.