Mediterranean vegetable towers
Skill level: Bit of effort
Costs: Cheap as chips
After a taste of the Mediterranean? These vegetable towers look spectacular and taste even better. These stacks of aubergine, pepper and tomato with a goats’ cheese layer make a good looking starter or a stunning vegetarian supper. They’re also a tasty way to help you on your way to your 5-a-day.
- 1 small aubergine
- 2 orange peppers
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes
- 4tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 x 100g rounds Chèvre goats’ cheese
- Fresh basil and dill sprigs to garnish
Other vegetables to try layering up would be slices of large courgette or marrow; thin round slices of onion, and slices of squash.
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C/400°F/Fan 180°C/Gas Mark 6. Line a baking tray with baking parchment, and line a grill tray with foil. Cut the aubergine into 1.5cm thick slices. Halve and deseed the pepper, then cut in half.
- Put both in a bowl. Cut the tomatoes into slices about 2cm thick and add to the bowl. Mix the oil with the garlic and pour into the bowl. Season well.
- Preheat the grill to a hot setting. Drain the aubergine and pepper slices and place in the grill pan. Grill for 3-4 mins on each side (in 2 batches if necessary) until slightly tender. Set aside.
- Slice the goats’ cheese in half through the middle. On the baking tray, layer the vegetables and tomatoes with a round of cheese to a maximum of 10cm high. Arrange any remaining vegetable slices around the towers on the tray.
- Place a skewer through the centre of each tower down to the base to keep it in place (the skewer will stay in place throughout the cooking) and bake in the oven for 15 mins until tender.
- To serve, drain well and serve garnished with fresh herbs.