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The Happy Pear Bake

Vegetables baked in a creamy red-pepper and almond butter sauce, topped with cheese and made with lots of love. It fills our kitchen with a yummy smell and our bellies with joy.

Course Main Course
Cuisine vegetarian
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

The sauce

  • 3 red peppers
  • 100 g almond butter
  • 200 ml cream (or sub for 200ml milk, and don't add the water)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 100 ml water

The filling

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 cauliflower head
  • 1 broccoli head
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 leeks
  • 250 g spinach
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 3 spring onions

The toppings

  • grated cheese (cheddar, parmesan, mozarella...)
  • pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or almond flakes (optional)

Instructions

Preparing the sauce

  1. Preheat oven at 200ºC. Place the red peppers on a baking tray in the oven. Flip the red peppers every now and then to cook equally on all sides. Bake until black bubbles appear on the skin. It should take around 40 mins.

  2. Once done, set them aside tocool down. Once cool enough, use your hands to peel the skin off.

  3. Blend the red peppers + cream + almond butter together, add salt + pepper + water to taste, blend again until smooth and silky.

Preparing the filling

  1. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes in small, bite-size cubes. Place on an oiled baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 30 mins approx (or until soft but not mushed).

  2. Chop the cauliflower and broccoli into florets. Steam or boil them for 5-8 mins (or until al dente). Rinse them through cold water using a sieve/collander, let them to fully strain.

  3. Set a pan to medium heat, pour a little cooking oil, and sauté the chopped leeks, spring onions and garlic, until they are softened. Set aside.

  4. Steam or sauté the spinach until they reduce in size and are softened.

  5. Place all vegetables in a large baking dish. Crumble the feta and add the chopped basil. Mix well!

Final bake

  1. Add the sauce to the vegetable-filled baking dish, mix well. Top with your preferred grated cheese and seeds. Place the dish in the mid-lower level of your oven. Bake for 30 mins at 200ºC, set the oven to grill/gratin mode, bake for another 5-10 mins.

Recipe Notes

Vegan version:

  • Substitute the feta cheese for tofu + a little milk + spices, blended until you get a similar feta-consistency.
  • Use oat cream instead of dairy cream.

Baking later: you can store the baking dish filled with veggies and sauce in the fridge for 2 days, then bake. Or you can freeze and then bake at a convenient time (let it thaw in the fridge for at least 6h before baking. 

Choice of vegetables: the veggies used in this recipe are by no means the veggies you should use. You can make this bake your bake by changing up the veggies you use, depending on the season, what´s left in your fridge, your own preferences, etc. I changed it up myself! The original recipe calls for squash, celery root, and I used sweet potatoes and broccoli instead.