I first made Italian-style casserole with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese years ago when I still consumed dairy products. Since it was one of our favourite dishes back then, I wanted to create an equally delicious plant-based cheesy veggie casserole with good tomato sauce and I must say I succeeded 100 per cent.
- Tomato sauce
- 200g brown lentils (dry weight), soaked
- 1 summer squash
- 1 eggplant
- 1 bigger potato
- Vegan parmesan (recipe below)
- Prepare the tomato sauce (follow link for recipe). This casserole recipe will use 1/3 of the quantity. I advise you to make the whole batch and store in fridge for later use.
- Preferably soak the lentils for 8 hours, and then boil them until soft (15-20 minutes). Add sea salt to taste. If you forgot to soak the lentils, boil them for 35-40 minutes.
- Cut the summer squash and eggplant into 1cm thick slices. Take a bigger sieve and put one layer of the slices in the bottom. Sprinkle some salt on the top and do another layer, again sprinkle some salt and continue until the veggies are finished. Let it sit for at least an hour. The salt makes the veggies sweat.
- Cut potatoes into thin slices.
- Dry the veggie slices with kitchen paper and roast on a pan on both sides. Put the roasted slices on a separate plate.
- Prepare Vegan Parmesan by processing 3 handfuls of cashews, 4 tbsps. nutritional yeast and sea salt to taste in a grinder or blender and it’s ready.
- And now the fun begins – take about 20x30cm (8×12 inch) casserole dish and start compiling:
- 1st layer: about 5tbsp of tomato sauce on the bottom of casserole dish. Spread it evenly.
- Mix the remaining tomato sauce with boiled lentils.
- 2nd layer: potato slices
- 3rd layer: a thin layer of tomato sauce-lentil mix
- 4th layer: sprinkle vegan Parmesan
- 5th layer: roasted veggie slices
- 6th layer: ½ of the remaining tomato sauce-lentil mixture
- 7th layer: vegan Parmesan
- 8th layer: the remaining veggie slices on the sides and potato slices in the middle. Put two layers of potatoes with some tomato-lentil mixture in between.
- 9th layer: the remaining tomato-lentil mixture
- 10th layer: the remaining vegan Parmesan
- If you have some potato slices left over, lay those on top of the casserole.
- Bake in 190 C (375 F) oven for 45 minutes. Let cool for at least half an hour (an hour is better) before you try to slice it. The casserole is especially good on next day.
- Method: Baking