Today, I made this White Bean and Roast Mediterranean Vegetable Pie with Basil Mash, which I’ve adapted from page 242 of Cornucopia At Home. This very comfortably fed four people two big helpings each, and I also had enough left over to fill two ramekin dishes for the freezer – that’s two lunches sorted next week. I served this with some salads.
I had to buy most of the fresh vegetables because my fridge was bare, but there’s enough vegetables here for a few days – and over the next few days, I’ll show how to use them all up. Less than €20 for what I needed in Dunnes; I spent a bit more on some other foods. Would have been cheaper in Lidl, of course, but they wouldn’t have had everything I need and I didn’t feel like going to two shops.
Tomato sauce (this only takes a few minutes and is well worth it, but you could also use a jar of tomato sauce, such as Lloyd Grossman):
2 x 400g tins of tomatoes 1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
2 stalks of celery
3 cloves garlic
Bunch of fresh oregano or ½ tsp dried
A few sprigs of rosemary (more adds a salty flavour)
Dash of brown sugar
Vegetables and beans:
A few cherry tomatoes
1 fennel bulb
2 red peppers
1 x 400g tin of butter or cannellini beans, drained
6-7 large floury potatoes
75ml olive oil (I just threw a few tablespoons)
Juice of ½ lemon
Bunch of basil
Salt and pepper
Butter (optional, I added it for extra creaminess)
Preheat oven to 200°C. Roughly chop vegetables for the tomato sauce. Throw them into a large pot with some olive oil and the herbs, stir, cover with a lid, and sweat on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While they’re sweating, chop the aubergine, courgette, and red pepper into medium sized pieces. Placing them in separate dishes if possible, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper, and put in the oven. Put some whole cherry tomatoes in another dish and put in the oven. All these vegetables take different lengths of time to roast – they’re ready when soft.
Now, chop the fennel, and blanch for about 7 minutes in boiling water, or until soft. Don’t worry if it has a bit of a bite.
When the vegetables for the tomato sauce are ready, blend using a stick blender. Add in the roasted vegetables, fennel and beans, stirring well. Leave aside.
Peel the potatoes, cut in quarters, and bring them to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cook till soft. Drain. As you wait for the potatoes, mix together olive oil, juice of half a lemon, a bunch of fresh basil, and salt and pepper, and blend (the stick blender again). Add this to the potatoes, and blend with the stick blender or an ordinary masher.
Cover the tomato sauce and vegetables with the mash, using a spatula or knife to smooth it over. Place in the oven at about 200°C for half an hour or until the mash is light brown and crispy on top.