- 3tsp olive oil
- 2 aubergines, thinly sliced into rounds
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 180g cherry tomatoes
- 80g spinach leaves
- 200g passata
- 2tbsp sun-dried tomato paste (we used Belazu)
- 4tbsp vegan basil pesto (see Making your own, below right)
- 4tbsp ground almonds
- 80g kale, roughly chopped
- Seeds from ½ pomegranate
- Heat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7.
- Put 1tsp of the oil in a medium pan set over a medium heat. Add the aubergine rounds, without overlapping, and cook for 5 min on each side until they’re golden brown and very soft – do this in batches, if necessary.
- Meanwhile, put another 1tsp oil in a separate pan set over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 min. Add the cherry tomatoes, spinach, passata and tomato paste and simmer gently for 10 min. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
- Transfer a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce to a small ovenproof dish, then add 1 or 2 layers of the aubergine slices (depending on how many you have), followed by a very thin layer of basil pesto. Repeat these layers 3 times, then sprinkle with the ground almonds.
- Put the bake in the oven and cook for 20 min until turning golden. After 10 min, put the kale on a baking tray, drizzle with the remaining 1tsp oil and cook in the oven for 5–10 min alongside the bake, until the kale is turning crispy and golden.
- Serve the aubergine bake with the crispy kale alongside, sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.
MAKING YOUR OWN vegan basil pesto is easy: put a handful of fresh basil leaves, 1tbsp olive oil, 1–2tbsp pine nuts and some freshly ground black pepper in a blender and whiz for 10 sec or until you have a paste.