Eggplant, Zucchini and Lentil Lasagne with Sunflower Cheese Sauce by @panaceas_pantry

Serves 8-10
Preparation time: 1 hour + 4 hours soaking time
Cooking Time: 30 mins


Tick off the ingredients as you buy them

  • Tomato lentil sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 medium carrot, diced finely
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 jar Val Verde Passata with Fresh Basil
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves only and chopped finely
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only and chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (or 1x 400ml can Val Verde Diced Tomatoes)
  • 2 Tbsp Val Verde Tomato Paste
  • 2+ cups water
  • 3 medium eggplant, sliced lengthways into 1cm thick strips
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthways into 1 cm thick strips
  • 8 large lasagne sheets
  • Sunflower seed cheese sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp white miso (optional)

1. START THIS RECIPE EARLY by soaking the sunflower seeds in 3 cups of water for 4+ hours AND soaking the red lentils in 3 cups of water for 1-2 hours. It is best to thoroughly wash the lentils before soaking them.

2. PREPARE the vegetables while the above ingredients soak. Once you have cut the eggplant and zucchini lightly sprinkle them in salt and place in a large colander for 1/2 hour. Preheat the oven to 180 C fan forced. After 30 mins rinse off salt off of the vegetables and pat dry with a clean tea towel. Prepare 3 oven trays by drizzling with olive oil then lay out the sliced vegetables (they will fit quite snuggly). bake for approximately 20 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown. Turn off the oven and set aside.

3. TOMATO AND LENTIL SAUCE. Once the lentils have soaked you can prepare the sauce. Heat a large, deep frypan over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add onion and salt and saute for 3-4 mins or until the onion becomes translucent. Next, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds before adding the carrot. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the vinegar and cook for 1 minute, tossing regularly. Now, add the drained lentils, passata, herbs, tomatoes, tomato paste and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 25-30 mins, stirring regularly. Ideally you want to cover the frypan/skillet with a lid for this stage however, if you don't have a lid, simply keep an eye on the sauce and add more water as required (1/2-1 cup) to keep it from becoming too dry. Once the lentils are completely tender your sauce is ready.

4. SUNFLOWER SEED CHEESE SAUCE. Drain the sunflower seeds and add to a blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until completely smooth, but note if your blender isn't high powered the sauce will be slightly grainy which is totally ok.

5. ASSEMBLE YOUR LASAGNE. Preheat your oven to 180C. I used a deep dish measuring 33cm x 21cm, and layered like so:

- Add 1/2 ladle of sauce, spreading to coat the base
- Add 1/2 of the zucchini and eggplant
- Add 1/2 ladle of sauce, spreading to coat the vegetables
- Add 4 lasagne sheets to cover
- Add 1 ladle sauce, spreading to coat the lasagne sheets
- Add the remaining zucchini and eggplant
- Add 1/2 ladle sauce, spreading to coat the vegetables
- Add 4 lasagne sheets to cover
- Add the remaining sauce
- Cover with the sunflower cheese. Use a spoon to spread this evenly on top.
- finish by pouring just boiled water into the corners of the lasagne until you see the water level sitting evenly with your cheese sauce. The mount will depend or how much liquid was in your tomato lentil sauce, but should be around 1/4-1/2 cup.

6. BAKE the lasagne. Cover the tray with a lid, a spare tray or aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid/foil and bake for a further 10 minutes then serve and enjoy.