This is delicious winter comfort food that can be served as a side dish, or the main event. It is also exciting because this vegan and gluten free bake is comfort food at its wintery best.
I was was inspired in this dish by the Lamb Siniyah recipe in the beautiful Ottolenghi book Simple, a recipe described as the middle eastern equivalent of Shepherds Pie. I absolutely loved this recipe and the tahini sauce baked on top was a revelation to me. I have since talked it up and spent a lot of time in the middle of the night creating recipes to use it.
This is the first of my experiments and one that I have enjoyed three times already and now a forth in the writing and photographing of it for this post.
I have made it in my favourite smallish 5 cup capacity enamel baking pan and find it is the perfect size for four people as a side vegetable dish or two as main meal with side salad. This is another of those recipes that can easily be doubled or more to feed a crowd. It is also great, and possibly even better (as are most similar baked dishes) the next day. This also makes me very happy when Ed is away and I am cooking for one as it is delicious as leftovers and makes a tasty easy start to the next days meal.
Today I had a friend coming to visit and I wanted to make this for her. I didn’t have a small and deep enough disposable tray to make it in, so it was reinvented again. This time using the same ingredients in a different way – laying the spinach in the bottom of the tray, rolling the mushrooms in the eggplant canneloni style, and then pouring over the tomato sauce followed by the tahini sauce poured on top.
TAHINI EGGPLANT BAKE – two ways
Enough to feed four people as a side dish and two as a main – easily doubled or more.
Pre heat oven to 180’c
Using a 5 cup capacity baking dish
- 1 medium sized eggplant
- Approximately 350 grams of mushrooms
- Salt and pepper
- TOMATO SAUCE
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes (canned cherry tomatoes also work)
- Handful of spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground origanum
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Couple of grinds of pepper
- TAHINI SAUCE
- 1/4 cup Tahini
- 3/4 cup water1 clove chopped garlic
- Juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepperPlace your list items here
- OPTIONAL GARNISH
- Toasted pinenuts and parsley
Lightly salt and oil the eggplant.
Warm char grill pan.
Cook eggplant in batches and put to the side
While the eggplant is cooking chop the mushrooms into 1/4 chunks ready to cook after the eggplant.
Cook mushrooms adding salt pepper and olive oil as needed.
Make the tomato sauce pouring tomatoes into a bowl and adding the salt pepper and spices.
Make the tahini sauce by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl or jug.
Assemble your bake
- layer first eggplant
- then spinach
- then mushrooms
- 1/2 tomato sauce
- other 1/2 tomato sauce
- all tahini sauce
- OOPs – I had a few to many mushrooms in this picture and ended up with an extra layer of mushrooms (no bad thing).
- make a layer of spinach down the centre line of dish
- roll mushrooms in the eggplant slices and line up
- pour over tomato sauce
- pour over tahini sauce
Bake for approximately half an hour until golden and bubbling.
Garnish if desired.
You can eat this straight away or cool and reheat later.