This was not a written recipe that we followed, but something that Mum made up on the spot. She is great like that. It’s a real skill; she can look in the pantry and fridge and instantly suggest nutritious meals. (Whereas some people, like me, look in the pantry and all they see is a can of baked beans, or aspire to a meal that looked good in my head, and didn’t translate well to the dinner plate.) I really admire and am deeply grateful for Mum’s cooking knowledge and know how.
2 cloves of garlic
Chilli (any type – we used a Hungarian Yellow Wax chilli because we had just picked it from the garden)
Cheese, grated (we used a mixture of parmesan and mild)
Set the rice on to boil.
Peel off some of the aubergine skin, then cut into rounds. Oil an oven tray and place the rounds of aubergine onto the tray, add salt. Slice the red peppers into quarters large enough to be able to peel the skins off. Place under the grill. Turn the aubergine over to grill on the other side when ready.
Quarter a courgette lengthwise, and fry in pan.
Add a knob of butter to a pan and fry garlic, onion, then add chilli. Chop several tomatoes into thick rounds and add on top of onions then place the pan lid on, and leave covered on the element on a low setting, so the tomatoes retain their shape rather than going mushy.
Grate the cheeses.
Peel the red peppers (grilled when the aubergine was grilled). A tip for peeling skins off red peppers : when the peppers come out from under the grill, transfer them straight away into a sealed container – leave them to sit (1 hour is optimal, but until they are cool is ok), and the skins peel off much easier.
We arranged the order of the stack as:
Rice, aubergine, red pepper, cheese, courgette, cheese, tomato and garlic and onion mixture, aubergine, red pepper, courgette, cheese, tomato and garlic and onion mixture, and cheese on top.
Wine of choice: Merlot.