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Christmas vegetable layer bake

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  • Prep Time: 40 mins
  • Ready in: 1 hour
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Christmas vegetable layer bake

This is a lovely dish, perfect for a celebration. It's quite involved but well worth it, trust me! If you cook it the day before, press well and chill it, it will be even easier to serve!


  • 6 tbsp olive oil, yes 6
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 x 250g packets microwave Coconut rice, re heated
  • 1 x 400g Bijoux canned green lentils, rinsed
  • 90g toasted pine nuts
  • 4 large courgettes, washed and again sliced in 3/4cm slices lengthways
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into long 3/4cm slices, must be peeled
  • whole and sliced
  • 2 x 290g jars roasted peppers drained well
  • 100mls roughly strong vegetable stock
  • 8 Portabello mushrooms
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 100g honey roasted cashews
  • pinch two chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp runny honey or maple syrup
  • Sauce
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 4 tbsp chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed well
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g creme fraiche
  • pepper and salt to taste

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  1. Preheat the oven to 200C gas 6.
  2. Heat the 6 tbsp of oil in a saucepan, and add the spices, cook for a minute, then add the onions and garlic.
  3. Cook for a good 10 minutes, browning REALLY well.
  4. Next add the warmed rice sachets, lentils, pinenuts, salt and pepper and mix well.
  5. Place a 32cm x 24cm x 5cm deep baking dish onto a board and place half the sliced courgettes so it covers the bottom perfectly. Season well.
  6. Spoon over half the rice/lentil mix and spread over evenly, season well.
  7. Arrange the squash slices on top making sure they fit evenly and perfectly, season well.
  8. Spoon on the last of the rice.
  9. Lay the last courgette slice on top, then cut open the red peppers and lay on top so you end up with a perfectly full and pepper topped casserole.
  10. Spoon over the veg stock cover with foil tightly and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
  11. After an hour remove foil, lightly oil the peppers.
  12. Place back in the oven uncovered and drive off the moisture until the bake is nice and firm, about 30 minutes
  13. Remove from the oven, press down with a potato masher well, cool, cover with film and chill well, best overnight.
  14. When ready to serve, turn on the grill and season the mushrooms well with salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil. Cook until slightly shrivelled and with a meaty texture.
  15. Place the nuts into a small bowl and add the chilli powder honey or maple syrup, mix well and pop into the oven to glaze nicely, take care they will burn.
  16. Finally, place the herbs, capers, olive oil, chilli and garlic into a small hand blender and blitz to a smooth green paste.
  17. Spoon into a bowl add salt, pepper and the crème fraiche and mix well.
  18. To serve, cut nice neat squares, cover with cling film and microwave until warmed through perfectly.
  19. Serve in a deep bowl, topped with a grilled mushroom, spoon or two of the crème fraiche and a few toasted nuts.