Dish of the Day: The Reluctant Vegetarian’s recipe for Gruyere, Spinach and Sprout Bake with Basil Oil Topping
This has to be my ideal hangover dish and it’s perfect on a rainy day when you’re in need of some comfort food and stodge. Serve it up with a salad or keep it simple and get stuck into this on its own. The beauty of this dish is its versatility; you can swap in any green vegetables or stick with what’s seasonal. Peas and mushrooms work really well too. A great dish if you’re feeding a few: it will not disappoint. If you’re unable to find vegetarian Gruyere then just switch with any veggie cheese you can get your hands on.
Cooking / Preparation Time – 40 mins
500g x Conchiglioni – Cooked until al dente
1/2 x White onion – Finely sliced
500g x Fresh spinach
1 x Ball of veggie Mozzarella
400g of Brussels sprouts – Outer layer peeled and cut in half
Cheesey Sauce Ingredients
300g vegetarian Gruyere cheese – Grated
1 x Pint of semi skimmed mik
Salt & Pepper
1 x Teaspoon of English mustard
2 x Tbsp of butter
2 x Tbsp of plain flour
1 x Handful of fresh basil leaves
1 x Garlic clove
1 x Tbsp of grated vegetarian Parmesan style cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Start by boiling a large pan of water add a sprinkle of salt followed by the Conchiglioni, cook for about 10 mins on a high heat.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter on a medium heat in a separate pan. Once melted add the flour and stir into a paste, allowing it to cook for a couple of minutes. Begin to gradually add in the milk, continuing to do this until you’ve added all the milk and the flour has dissolved.
Add the salt, pepper and mustard followed by the grated veggie Gruyere. Continue to stir until you have a smooth thick cheesey sauce. Give it a try to check the seasoning and adjust accordingly before adding in the sliced onion, sprouts and spinach and cook for a further five minutes.
Once the pasta is partly cooked, drain and add to a large ovenproof dish. Tear up the veggie mozzarella over the pasta and cover with your cheese sauce, sprouts and spinach. Add some extra grated cheese over the top and bake for 20 mins on 190 degrees Celsius, if it’s still not crispy enough place it under the grill until golden.
For the basil oil, muddle the garlic, basil and veggie Parmesan together before stirring in extra virgin olive oil. Drizzle over the pasta once it’s cooked and serve straight away.
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