Try this vegetarian aubergine stacks recipe, topped with salsa verde. It’s simple, budget-friendly and delicious!

Ingredients

Aubergines:
olive oil
about 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (or hard cheese of your choice)
2 medium-sized aubergines, sliced lengthways 1 cm thick
about 1/3 cup feta cheese, to crumble over the aubergines when serving
baby basil leaves, for garnishing

Tomato Sauce:
½ Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (set over a sieve for 5–10 minutes for some of the liquid to drain off)
1 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil, stalks included
1–2 sprigs fresh oregano (if available)
1 level tsp dried chilli flakes
pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch sugar or preferred healthy natural sweetener

Speedy Salsa Verde:
handful fresh basil
1 small clove garlic
1–2 tsp sunflower seeds
1 tsp lemon zest
1–2 Tbsp lemon juice
1–2 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
healthy natural sweetener, to taste (I like to use 4–6 drops stevia liquid or 1–2 tsp rice malt syrup)

How to
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Add a drizzle of olive oil and generous sprinkling of Parmesan to the top of each aubergine slice and lay them side by side on a nonstick baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and the edges are starting to crisp. Remove and set aside.

While the aubergines bake, prepare the tomato sauce by placing a small heavy-based saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Add the olive oil and, when it’s hot, cook the garlic for a minute until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, bring to a gentle bubble and leave to simmer with the lid off for 20 minutes, or until the colour has deepened and the mixture has thickened.

Prepare the salsa verde by finely chopping the basil, garlic and sunflower seeds on a wooden chopping board. Once chopped, add to a small bowl along with the lemon zest. Drizzle in the lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and a dash of your preferred natural sweetener and adjust to taste.

To serve, layer into large bowls or onto plates as follows: Aubergine slice, tomato sauce, crumbled feta; repeat until you have used all of the ingredients. Drizzle 1–2 tsp of salsa verde over each serving, add a few fresh baby basil leaves to garnish and serve immediately.

Tip: Place a damp cloth under your chopping board so that it is secure and doesn’t move around. This makes you more efficient and also gives you better control over the knife.

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Recipe provided by Sarah Graham, recipe creator and cookbook author. Visit the Sarah Graham food blog to see more.