Inspiration is always on the menu at North Yorkshire libraries

If you’re searching for ideas to keep things interesting in the kitchen then look no further than your local library!

There are books on any cuisine or diet you can imagine, and you can download food magazines with your North Yorkshire library card from the Libby App or Overdrive.

Library assistant Basia Godel has shared one of her favourite recipes with us this month. We hope you enjoy giving it a try!

Find more information about North Yorkshire libraries.

Basia said: “This recipe has been a big hit with everyone who’s ever tried it, but it is quite time intensive so I save it for weekends and special occasions. It pays off in quality, and it’s easy to make extra and enjoy the leftovers for a few days – it reheats best in the oven, but does fine in the microwave for work lunches.

“I usually refer to it as an aubergine parmigiana, but decided against calling it that here, since this recipe has evolved quite far beyond the traditional Italian dish. While a parmigiana might be eaten as a side dish, this veg-packed twist works great as the star of the show, coupled with nice crusty bread.”

Basia’s vegan aubergine bake

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium aubergines
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tins tomatoes – chopped or plum diced in advance
  • 160g black olives
  • 100g spinach
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tbsp/30g vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp/16g plain flour
  • ⅓ cup/20g nutritional yeast
  • 200ml vegan milk of your choice – I like oat
  • Your favourite cooking oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Crusty bread, to serve

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Cut off the green tops of aubergines, and cut them into thin slices lengthwise with a large, sharp knife. Aim for 3-5mm thickness.
  2. Brush a large baking tray with oil, and lay out the aubergine slices with minimum overlap. You will need to use two or three trays, or roast them in batches – either is fine. Roast for 10-15mins or until gently browned in places, repeat the process if necessary until all of the aubergine is roasted. Set aside.
  3. Dice the onions. Add a dash of oil to a large pot or saucepan, and cook the onions on a medium heat until translucent. Mince the garlic and add to the onions, stir and cook for further two minutes.
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes and 300ml of water. Stir, add the stock cube, herbs and bay leaf. Cook for 10mins.
  5. In the meantime, slice the olives. Add to tomato sauce and cook for further 20mins. Remove the bay leaf, and stir in the spinach. Cook for further 3mins, or until wilted. Salt to taste, take the sauce off the heat and set aside.
  6. In a small saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat. Add flour and mix well, until it forms a paste, and cook for 2 more minutes. Slowly start adding the milk, bit at a time, constantly whisking, until all the milk is combined and you have a smooth sauce. Continue cooking for 5-10mins until the sauce thickens. Add half of the nutritional yeast (10g) and a pinch of salt, stir through until combined and take off the heat.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Spread a couple of tablespoons of the tomato sauce at the bottom of a medium baking dish, try to use just sauce with no “bits” in it. This will stop the aubergine from sticking to the bottom. Place the slices of aubergine in the dish until they form a layer, then some of the tomato sauce, sprinkle some nutritional yeast, then aubergine again. Repeat this process until you use up all the ingredients, finishing with a layer of aubergine – I usually do three aubergine layers, two layers of sauce.
  8. Pour the white sauce on top of the aubergine, and spread it around until it forms an even layer. Bake for 40mins, or until the top is browned and crispy. Plate up and serve with crusty bread.