As we had quite a few gluten and dairy intolerances to cook for this week, I concentrated on making dishes, which were free from both. One of the favourite grain based dishes of the week was black rice and quinoa with tomatoes from the garden. The tomatoes were cooked down with garlic and olive oil and then forked through the grain, whilst still hot. So simple, yet so delicious and a great way to use up the ageing tomatoes, many of which are coming to their end on the vine.
Sadly, the aubergines and courgettes are diminishing in number from the garden, which meant I couldn't stretch them far enough to make my vegan moussaka for the whole group. However, I did get to experiment with it over the weekend for a small number of people and now i'm ready to share the recipe, which you can find below.
The highlight of this week was that the sun came back and once again it feels like summer! I know a little water was much needed but I'm secretly delighted the storms are over for now! My lovely caravan is not so lovely in the rain, as it feels like a damp tent, which brings back not such fond memories of camping in the rain at festivals! Something i've never been very good at but I don't seem to learn my lesson! I'm a mediterranean sun baby through and through and I need to just stick to festivals in sunnier climates!
Only 2 more weeks to go in heavenly Italy before its time to face the real autumn back in London. What a thought! I need to savour every moment! I look forward to having some downtime this week as there will only be 3 people to cook for! That means time to relax, read and enjoy the peace and quiet of the beautiful countryside.
4 small aubergine (or 2 large)
3 medium courgettes
600g spinach or chard
(For the tomato sauce)
200g sundried tomatoes
4 large beef tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
handful of herbs (sage, marjoram, oregano)
Touch of tamari or shoyu soy sauce to taste
(For the white sauce)
250g cashews (soaked for a couple of hours)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons yeast flakes
Pinch of salt
Slice the aubergine and courgette into rounds, sprinkle with olive oil and salt and bake in a hot oven for about 40 mins (you sprinkle aubergine with salt and leave in a colander to drain for 1 hour prior to this if you wish).
Remove large stalks from spinach or chard and roughly chop. Saute or steam, adding a little garlic, olive oil and salt.
Make the tomato sauce by placing all ingredients in blender. Whizz quickly and leave this sauce a little chunky. Add some water if necessary to thin down.
Drain cashews and place in liquidizer with water and yeast flakes, adding more water of necessary. Sauce should be thick but creamy.
Then layer a baking dish as follows - a layer of aubergine followed by tomato sauce, courgette, white sauce and spinach and then courgette, white sauce, spinach, tomato and aubergine.
Bake in the oven for about 20 mins and then sprinkle with parsley before serving.