Italian Vegetable Bake

recipe-image-legacy-id--1057488_11A vibrant dish for slow cookers. All you have to do is layer courgettes, tomatoes and aubergine with bread and mozzarella – irresistible!


Ingredients serves 6

4 garlic cloves, 3 crushed, 1 left whole
400g can chopped tomatoes
bunch oregano, leaves chopped
large pinch chilli flakes
about 300g/11oz baby or normal aubergines, sliced
2 courgettes, sliced
½ large jar roasted red peppers
3 beef tomatoes, sliced
bunch basil, torn (save a few leaves for sprinkling over)
small baguette, sliced and toasted
2 x 125g balls mozzarella, torn
green salad, to serve

How to prepare
Put the slow cooker onto the High or the browning setting and tip in the crushed garlic, canned tomatoes, half the oregano leaves, chilli and some seasoning. Cook, covered, while you chop the rest of the vegetables.
Tip out most of the sauce and start layering up half the vegetables and herbs with seasoning – the aubergines, courgettes, red peppers, tomatoes, basil and remaining oregano. Layer in half the bread, rubbed with the whole garlic clove, half the mozzarella and half the tipped-out tomato sauce. Repeat vegetable, herb and tomato sauce layers, followed by the bread and mozzarella. Push everything down well to compress, then cook on high for 5-6 hrs.
Flash under the grill before serving if you like (and your slow cooker pot is suitable), until golden and bubbling. Serve with the leftover basil leaves on top and a big salad on the side.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2012

More slow cooking: Tender Duck & Pineapple Red Curry