|Tomato Casserole with Cheese ready to Got Into the Oven.|
I actually stumbled across this recipe for baked tomato casserole with cheese in the Guardian Newspaper. The recipe was not specifically for vegetarians or vegans, nor did it include some of the ingredients that I've added, but I loved the idea as the casserole included bread. Not only that, but this is they type of meal that you can whip up pretty quickly and is very inexpensive.
I've used canned, chopped tomatoes for this recipe, but you may prefer to use fresh, chopped tomatoes. I've made this dish using both vegetarian and vegan cheese, however, I must say that when it comes to using vegan cheese, the outcome will depend on the quality of the cheese and your personal preferences.
Also, as the bread is soaked in the tomatoes it needs to be stale bread which is crusty anyway, or it will become quite sloppy and unappetizing. I've added cooked pearl barley here, but this dish is really versatile and works well with pinto beans or black beans. You could also use lentils or quinoa if preferred.
Ingredients for baked tomato casserole with cheese. (serves 4)
2 cans of chopped tomatoes.
1 medium sized onion, chopped.
1 1/2 cups of cooked pearl barley.
4 slices of stale crusty, wholewheat bread.
300 grams of grated, vegetarian or vegan cheese.
3 cloves of garlic, grated or finely chopped.
2 tsp of dried oregano
2 tsp of dried marjoram.
2 tsp of brown sugar.
1 tbsp of oil.
1. In a suitably sized pan, heat the oil and add the garlic and onion. Sweat the onions down for a minute or two then add one teaspoon of both the oregano and marjoram. Saute for a minute longer.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, barley, sugar and the remainder of the oregano and marjoram. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 4-5 minutes.
3. Taste the tomato mixture to ensure that the sugar has removed the bitterness of the tomatoes. If not, add a little more sugar. Remove from the heat.
4. Find a suitably sized casserole dish, then pour half of the tomato mixture into the dish.
5. Take two pieces of the stale bread and rest on top of the tomato mixture.
6. Cover the bread with half of the cheese.
6. Cover with the remainder of the tomato mixture but saving a little for another fine layer later.
7. Place the remainder of the bread on top and then cover with the remainder of the Tomato mixture. Cover with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
8. Bake in the oven, gas mark 5, for 15 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.