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Vegetable Layer Press

January '02

Yesterday, when clearing kitchen cupboards I found the handle for the pasta machine I own. So, of course, I knew I would be driven to making fresh pasta. However, fresh pasta is all very well and with a good sauce, is a meal of itself, but that would be too straightforward, and as Sue was convalescing from 'flu (the real stuff not just a bad cold), I decided to make something bright, light, appetizing and fresh to go with the pasta rather than a heavy sauce that would not improve her congestion. So for this dish you will need two loaf tins that will fit inside each other and the ingredients listed below. You can use many other combinations of vegetables depending upon what you have and what's in season, oyster mushrooms are a very good choice.

So for this dish you will need two loaf tins that will fit inside each other and the following ingredients:

Ingredients

2 carrots
1 medium courgette
1 red onion
8 thin asparagus spears
1 tin palm hearts
1 large tomato
8 large cabbage leaves
1 red and 1 orange pepper

Vegetable Layer Press

You can use many other combinations of vegetables depending upon what you have and what’s in season, oyster mushrooms are a very good choice.

Method

  • Oil one of the tins
  • Slice the tomato and place 3-4 slices on the bottom of the tin
  • Blanch the cabbage leaves and line the tin using 4 of them (leave the tomatoes underneath)
  • Trim the asparagus so that the spears will fit in the tin longways
  • Trim and cut into batons the carrots, courgettes and palm hearts so they too will fit in the tin longways

    Vegetable Layer Press Ingredients

  • Slice the onion into rings
  • Slice the peppers into batons.

    Vegetable Layer Press Ingredients 2

  • Par-boil all of the vegetables. Unfortunately they will all take different times, so you will need to do this in batches depending upon their sizes and ages.
  • Put layers of the par-boiled vegetables into the lined tin, starting with the asparagus and working through the rest. Each vegetable should only be layered once.
  • Use the final two cabbage leaves to tuck-in and cover the whole dish

  • Then using the other tin, stand it on top and weigh it down

  • Stand the whole in a Bain Marie and put in the oven at 150C for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to stand for five minutes, then turn out and serve in thick slices.

    This went rather well with the Tagliatelle that I had made to which I just stirred in some sundried tomatoes in olive oil and some fresh cream, and on a glum overcast January Sunday it was a cheerful change.

    (See Dave's Variation on this dish here... Ed.)

     

    Dave Wardell

     

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