This hearty vegetarian take on the traditional hotpot has a pretty topping that contains plenty of hidden treasures. The recipe suggestion is from Nigel Slater who is one of Britain’s best-loved cookery writers. Despite having written for food magazines since 1988, and also in his own cookery books, it took a long time before he could be persuaded to transfer his skills to TV.


In this recipe each serving contains

10g protein, 32g carbohydrate, 27g fat, 14g fibre, 0.3g salt.

Ingredients

Serves 4/5
8 tbsp olive oil
4 onions, sliced
1 aubergine (eggplant), sliced in half lengthways and then into 1cm/½in-thick semi-circles
1 courgette (zucchini), sliced into 1cm/½in-thick rounds
800g/1lb 12½oz tomatoes (on the vine), cut in half
1 x 400g tin flageolet beans, drained
1 x 400g tin haricot beans, drained
50g/1¾oz butter
1 large carrot, cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler or mandolin
2 cooked beetroots, sliced into 1cm/½in-thick rounds
6 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 160C/140 fan/Gas 3.
2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a medium, shallow, lidded casserole over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden-brown.
3. Add 500ml/18fl oz water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat until the water is simmering and simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until the water has all but evaporated.
4. Heat another 4 tablespoons of the oil in a separate frying pan over a medium heat. Add the aubergine (eggplant) pieces, in batches if necessary, and fry until lightly coloured on both sides – about 5-6 minutes (add more oil to the pan as necessary). Repeat the process with the courgette (zucchini) rounds. Set aside.
5. Add the tomato halves to the stewed onions, then season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover the casserole with the lid and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through.
6. Add the flageolet and haricot beans to the onions and tomatoes, then stir in the courgettes (zucchini) and aubergines (eggplants).
7. Melt the butter and the remaining tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Stir in the carrot ribbons until completely coated in the fat, then arrange them in a tangle on top of the casserole.
8. Add the beetroot slices to the frying pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Arrange the beetroot slices among the tangled carrots. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves.
9. Bake the hotpot in the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until the vegetables on top have turned crisp and golden-brown and the casserole has thickened. Serve.

Flageolet beans are small, creamy, pale green beans with tender skin and a fine, delicate flavour, these are much prized in France. They are actually small, young haricot beans that have been harvested and dried before they are fully ripe.

Haricot beans are small, oval, plump and creamy-white with a mild flavour and smooth, buttery texture. In the US, they are known as navy beans and are the classic ingredient in Boston baked beans. Haricot beans are widely used in the cooking of countries such as France, Spain, Portugal and South America. With little flavour of their own, they absorb other aromas and flavours easily, which makes them popular beans to use in bean salads, vegetable soups, and slow-cooked dishes such as cassoulet or bean purées.See original recipe here

Did you know that aubergines/eggplants are full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre! An excellent source of dietary fibre they are also a good source of Vitamins B1 and B6 and potassium. In addition it is high in the minerals copper, magnesium and manganese. Aubergines are high in fibre and low in fat and therefore recommended for those managing type 2 diabetes or managing weight concerns. Read about the health benefits of aubergines/eggplants here

Dear reader, you will find a variety of recipe ideas and articles within this blog, but please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

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