Spinach and butternut bake
As Antoinette suggested on the TV series, I gave her butternut “lasagne” a low-carb twist with a spinach cheese sauce instead of white sauce.
SPINACH AND BUTTERNUT BAKE
My version of her dish is chunkier, with slices of butternut, brinjals and mushrooms that are arranged in layers with a bacon and tomato sauce seasoned with herbs.
SERVES 4-6 Preparation time: 20 min Cooking time: 40 min Baking time: 20-30 min
1-2 large brinjals, sliced, AND/OR
125 g large brown mushrooms, sliced
2 butternuts, peeled and thickly sliced salt and pepper 3-5 sprigs of sage, chopped 5-7 sprigs of thyme, chopped olive oil 1 packet (250 g) bacon, chopped 2 cans (400 g each) chopped tomatoes pinch of paprika 5ml (1 t) chopped rosemary pinch of sugar (optional)
SPINACH CHEESE SAUCE
1 pack (300 g) spinach, coarsely chopped,
heated until wilted then finely chopped 1 tub (230 g) cream cheese 1 tub (230 g) creamed cottage cheese 1 round feta cheese, crumbled
50 g pumpkin seeds 10 ml (2 t) brown sugar pinch of salt pinch of chilli flakes olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
1 Filling Arrange the brinjal and/or mushroom and butternut slices in a single layer on 1-2 baking sheets, season generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle the herbs and olive oil over. Roast for about 40 minutes or until done.
2 Meanwhile fry the bacon in a pan until crisp, add the tomatoes and simmer until fragrant. Season with a little paprika, rosemary and a pinch of sugar (if using). 3 Arrange the vegetables and bacon sauce in layers in an ovenproof dish. 4 Spinach cheese sauce Reduce the temperature to 180 °C. Mix the spinach, cream cheese and cottage cheese and spoon over the vegetable mixture. Scatter the feta cheese on top and bake for 20-30 minutes or until brown on top. 5 Seed sprinkle Put the pumpkin seeds in a frying pan. 6 Add the sugar, salt and chilli flakes. 7 Drizzle a little olive oil over and heat until the seeds are slightly caramelised. 8 Scatter the seed sprinkle over the bake as it comes out of the oven.
Pumpkin seeds pop when you toast them in a pan – I sprinkled some over for crunch