Roasted vegetable layer bake, a go to Vegetarian dish when you want to serve something a little more impressive.
Roasted vegetable layer bake is a dish that we created when we had a Vegetarian friend coming to dine with us. Having spent 15 years as a Vegetarian myself, often served goats cheese or mushroom, I enjoy neither! We wanted something a little different, something that hero’d the vegetables. This simple layer bake does just that. Roasted vegetables layered in a dish and covered with a savoury cheese sauce.
We used Comte cheese in the sauce as it’s nutty, but in no way overpowers the vegetables. The sauce is made using a technique similar to a bechamel sauce, replacing the milk with vegetable stock. This gives the sauce a savoury flavour and a lighter finish than if using milk or cream. After all this dish is about the vegetables.
We have used layers of roasted butternut squash, sweet peppers, courgettes and onion. However be creative and use the vegetables that you have to hand or like to eat. Celeriac works well in this dish as does aubergine and sweet potato.
Although this recipe was created with our Vegetarian diners in mind, it’s a lovely dish to try out on the family. It makes a great mid week dinner dish for those days when you want to lessen the meat load. I love vegetables and aside from the odd one or two, therefore not many that I don’t enjoy. This recipe is a great way to eat your way through your 5-a-day.
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Roasted Vegetable Layer Bake
- 1 small butternut squash - peeled & sliced
- 2 red peppers
- 1 large courgette - sliced
- 1 medium onion - sliced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 50 g butter
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 200 g comte cheese - grated
- salt & pepper
- Gently pare and slice the top of the butternut squash into 8 thin circles about 0.5cm thick and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180CFan and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile heat up a grill pan and place the peppers on it, taking care to char each side well. Once the skin has blistered and blackened place the peppers into a plastic bag and seal. Set aside and allow the bag to steam up. After about 10 minutes remove the pepper and the outer skin should slip off easily. Divide each pepper into quarters, discarding the stem and seeds, and set aside.
- Top and tail the courgette and cut into 4 slices length ways. Cut each length in half across the middle to give you 8 pieces in total. Now using the same grill pan, char the strips of courgettes on both sides. You want them to colour but not to burn and dry out. Set aside until ready to use.
- Thinly sliced the onion and break into individual rings. Place the onion in a bowl and pour over boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes before draining and placing on some kitchen paper to remove any excess water.
- Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan and stir in the flour. Turn the heat right down and cook gently for 5 minutes to allow the flour to cook, but not burn!
- Increase the heat to medium-high and gradually add the chicken stock to the saucepan in batches. Take care to beat out any lumps ensuring a smooth sauce.
- Once the stock has been added and you have a thick, smooth sauce add 160g of the comte cheese and season to taste.
- To assemble the bake, place the vegetables into individual dishes in alternative layers, squash, pepper, courgette and onion. Repeat this process for a further layer of vegetables.
- Pour over the cheese sauce and sprinkle over the remaining cheese on top.
- Place the dishes on a baking sheet in an oven at 180CFan and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.