basil pesto and eggplant bake

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 eggplant
1 tsp salt

for the tomato sauce

1 onion (finely diced)
1 celery stalk (finely diced)
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 TBSP mixed herbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
5 sundried tomatoes (roughly chopped) 
1 tin of tomatoes
1 tin of brown lentils
2 TBSPs coconut aminos (or 1 TBSP of tamari and 1 TBSP of coconut sugar)
1/2 cup red wine
1 - 2 TBSPs sunflower oil for frying

200g basil pesto (vegan)

1 recipe of cashew cheese sauce

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Start by preparing the eggplant. Top and tail the eggplant, cut lengthways into quarters and then into long thin slices using a sharp knife or mandolin. Place the eggplant into a bowl, sprinkle with one teaspoon of salt and set aside.  
2. Make the tomato sauce by adding the onion, celery, salt, pepper, mixed herbs and oil into a pan on medium heat. When the onion is translucent, add the garlic and sun dried tomatoes followed by the lentils. Allow the garlic to cook and then add the tinned tomatoes, red wine and coconut aminos. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20-30mins.
3. Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt and any browning, drain well and pat dry with a tea towel.
4. Line one large serving dish or four individual dishes with baking paper. Spread a layer of pesto on the baking paper and then cover with a layer of eggplant. Cover the eggplant with another layer of pesto and add a portion of the tomato sauce. Cover with a second layer of eggplant and repeat 3-4 times finishing with an eggplant pesto layer. Place in the oven for 45mins.
5. Remove the bake from the oven and cover the top with the cashew cheese sauce, place the eggplant bake back into the oven for another 15mins and then finish by turning the oven to grill. Grill until the sauce just starts to brown and serve.