Saturday, 16 August 2014

Recipe: Beany Butternut Bake, salad with Classic Italian Vinaigrette,and Chickpea Ratatouille

This evening my friend set me a Ready Steady Cook challenge!
She brought round a load of random ingredients and I had to make something with them all. I was allowed to use any seasoning and herbs and spices, but only 3 additional ingredients.

Here's what she brought:

This is what I added:

I decided to make a slightly spicy chickpea ratatouille with tricolour cous cous for a starter, followed by a beany butternut bake with a salad dressed in homemade Classic Italian vinaigrette.

Chickpea Ratatouille

2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 small onion, diced
1 stick celery, sliced finely
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots
1 courgette
1 red pepper
1.5 tsp dried basil
1.5 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp fresh Greek basil
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tin chickpeas drained

Sauté the onion, garlic, celery and carrot in the oil for a good five minutes until the carrot starts to soften

Add the courgette and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the herbs and spices, and the chickpeas and tomatoes, mix and cook slowly for a good 15-30 minutes until all the veg is cooked and the flavours have really developed.

It shouldn't be too saucy:

Serve over tricolour cous cous with an extra sprinkle of chopped parsley and Greek basil:

Boy was it yummy! 

Beany Butternut Bake

1 butternut squash

For the sauce:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 stick celery, diced
1 table olive oil
1 tin haricot beans, drained
1 tin Cannelini beans, drained
Juice of 2 lemons
250ml stock
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
3 tbsp nutritional yeast 

For the crumb:
50g walnuts
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
10g fresh parsley

Peel and slice the butternut and set aside

Chop the onion, garlic and celery

Sauté the celery, onion and garlic in the olive oil

When soft, add to food processor with all other sauce ingredients and process until saucey but thick

Put the topping ingredients in the mill attachment of the food processor

Pulse until combined

Incidentally, I had some walnut smashing fun as I don't own a nutcracker, so the end of a knife it was! Carnage!

To assemble the bake, put a thick Beany sauce layer on the bottom, cover with a layer of butternut slices and a little of the topping, maybe a quarter.

Then a very thin bean sauce layer, the rest of the butternut, the rest of the bean sauce and finally the topping. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour to an hour and a half, basically until the butternut is soft. Serve with salad.

I use an adapted version of Classic Italian Vinaigrette  from the Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen. I forgot to do pictures of the dressing I'm afraid but here is my version:

1/4 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced

Using a granite pestle and mortar, combine the above two into a paste

Then in a pot with a liquid tight lid, add the paste along with 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, juice of half a lemon OR 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (I prefer the lemon version) and a pinch of black pepper. Pop the lid on, give it a good shake and voila!

My favourite way to have this is over a rocket, watercress and spinach salad, topped with toasted pine nuts.  Tonight I did it over the mixed leaf salad with chopped tomatoes and a red pepper that I roasted with nothing added.