From delicious dinner parties to blowout Boxing Day lunches, Christmas can be a busy time of year. So if you’ve got a lot of mouths to feed over the coming festive period Jamie’s veggie feast could be the answer to your dinner dilemmas.
From aubergine lasagna to crispy Moroccan carrots, Jamie’s got you covered this Christmas.
Scruffy Aubergine Lasagne
3 large aubergines, (400g each)
6 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of fresh sage, (30g)
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 x 400g tins of quality plum tomatoes
80g mature Cheddar cheese
80g Parmesan cheese
300g fresh lasagne sheets
50g blanched almonds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place a large shallow casserole pan on a medium heat with 250ml of water. Halve the aubergines lengthways and place in the pan. Peel, quarter and add the onions, then cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic, and pick the sage leaves. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.
Remove the lid, and once most of the liquid has cooked away, make a well in the middle. Add 3 tablespoons of oil, the garlic, chilli flakes and most of the sage leaves, then finely grate in the lemon zest. Once golden, scrunch in the tomatoes, pour in 2 tins' worth of water, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pan from the heat, grate in the cheeses, then season to absolute perfection with sea salt and black pepper. Tear in the pasta sheets and mix up really well to coat and separate, then pull some of the sheets to the top to create a top layer. Bash the almonds until fine and rub the remaining sage leaves with oil, then sprinkle on top. Use the back of a spoon to create some dips and wells, and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
Serve with my Lady Marmalade Salad.
TOP TIP: You can make a gluten-free version by turning this into a pasta bake by using gluten-free pasta. Feel free to use any pasta shape. Simply parboil before adding.
Lady Marmalade salad
2 tbsp mixed shelled unsalted nuts such as walnut halves, almonds, pistachios
2 large shallots
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
1 heaped tsp runny honey
4 mixed - colour chicory (or any bitter salad leave)
½ bunch of fresh chervil (15g)
Salt and pepper (to season)
Toast the nuts in a large dry frying pan over a medium heat until golden, then bash in a pestle and mortar until fine.
Peel the shallots and slice ½ cm thick, then dry-fry for 5 minutes or until lightly charred, tossing regularly.
Juice the oranges, pour into the pan and simmer until syrupy, then remove from the heat.
Add the vinegar, 3 tbsp oil and the honey, then season to taste (it should be slightly too acidic).
Halve the chicory, finely slice the base end, then click the leaves apart and place in a salad bowl.
Spoon over the warm dressing, pick over the chervil leaves and sprinkle with the crushed nuts, then toss to dress. Enjoy!
400g mixed mushrooms
1 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 silverskin pickled onions
4 sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp baby capers
80g half-fat creme fraiche
Salt and pepper (to season)
Tip: Prep everything before you cook it
Trim the mushrooms, tearing up any larger ones and leaving any smaller ones whole.
Peel and finely slice the red onion and garlic and finely slice the pickled onions and cornichons. Pick and roughly chop the parsley leaves, finely chopping the stalks.
Place in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat, throw in the mushrooms and red onions, shake into one layer, then dry fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly (this will bring out the nutty flavour).
Add to the pan 1 tbsp of oil, then add the garlic, pickled onions, cornichons, parsley stalks and capers.
Cook for 3 minutes then pour in the whiskey, tilt the pan to carefully flame or light with a long match (Take care when doing this), once the flames subside, add ¼ tsp of paprika, the creme fraiche and parsley, then toss together.
Loosen the mixture by adding a splash of boiling water to make it a saucy consistency. Season to taste.
Divide between plates, finish with a touch of paprika and serve with fluffy rice.
Brilliant Bang Bang Cucumber
1 large cucumber
½ - 1tsp dried chilli flakes
½ - 1tsp szechuan pepper
2tbsp sesame seeds
2tbsp low-salt soy sauce
2tbsp black rice or balsamic vinegar
1tsp sesame oil
Scratch the outside of the cucumber with a fork to create grooves. With your fist ‘bang bang’ the cucumber flat, then roughly slice up and place in a bowl with a really good pinch of sea salt. Scrunch up aggressively and leave for 5 minutes.
Bash the chilli flakes and szechuan pepper in a pestle and mortar until fine, then muddle in and lightly crack the sesame seeds. Pour into a dry non-stick frying pan and toast on a medium heat until beautifully golden, tossing regularly.
Grab the cucumber with your hands and squeeze hard to remove any salty liquid, then transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the soy, vinegar and oil, then scrunch together and sprinkle over the hot sizzling seeds. Serve and enjoy.
Crispy Moroccan carrots
12 baby carrots
3 fresh bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 sheets of filo pastry
2 tbsps sesame seeds
1 tbsp tahini
2 teaspoons rose harissa
6 tbsps natural yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. Scrub the carrots, then cook in a pan of fast-boiling salted water for 10 minutes, or until just tender, then drain. Finely grate half the orange zest into the empty pan and squeeze in all the juice. Place on a medium heat, add the bay, thyme and a good pinch of sea salt, then cook until syrupy, folding the carrots back into the glaze to coat. Leave to cool.
One by one, lay out the filo sheets, rub with oil, then cut lengthways into 3 strips. Place a carrot at the bottom of each and roll up like a cigar, squeezing lightly to seal (don’t worry about being too neat). Repeat with the remaining carrots and filo, placing them on a baking tray as you go. Brush each lightly with oil, then roast for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden and crisp, drizzling with a little honey and scattering with the sesame seeds for the last 5 minutes.
Stack the carrots on a board, scattering over any sesame seeds left on the tray, then swirl the tahini and harissa through the yoghurt and serve alongside.