Roast aubergine and tomato bake with rocket and walnut

by Yotam Ottolenghi


40g walnut halves, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
40g rocket
25g basil leaves, plus a few extra, torn at the last minute, to garnish
40g parmesan, coarsely grated
About 100ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper
4 large aubergines, cut into 0.5cm-thick rounds
8 vine tomatoes, cut into 0.5cm-thick slices
1 large ball buffalo mozzarella, cut into 0.5cm-thick slices
100ml passata


Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Put the walnuts, rocket, 15g basil leaves, parmesan, three tablespoons of oil, two tablespoons of water and a quarter-teaspoon of salt in the bowl of a food processor, and blitz to form a coarse pesto.

Spread out the aubergine slices on two or three baking trays lined with baking paper. Put 60ml olive oil in a small bowl and brush evenly over both sides of the aubergines. Sprinkle over half a teaspoon of salt and plenty of ground pepper, then roast for 25-30 minutes, until dark golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and spread the pesto evenly over each slice. Turn down the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6.

Arrange half the aubergine and pesto slices in a 20cm x 26cm baking dish, so they sit snugly in a single layer. Lay half the tomatoes on top, sprinkle with salt and a generous grind of pepper, then follow this with the slices of mozzarella and the remaining basil leaves. Lay the rest of the aubergine on top, then the remaining tomatoes. Pour over the passata, spreading it out with the back of a spoon, and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Bake for 45 minutes, until the tomatoes on top have taken on a lot of colour, leave to rest for 10 minutes and serve sprinkled with basil.

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