Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Student's Vegetarian Casserole

Red Bean Bake is a "two out of one" dish from a book by Rose Elliot.   First published in 1975, I bought mine in 1980, when I realised that vegetarian cookery was healthy AND cheap.  (Alas, I might have finished my first PhD - or got closer to completion - if I'd spent less time cooking!  However.)  This is a paraphrase of her recipe.*  Great if you're a vegetarian - or if you've invited a veggie to dinner!

The whole idea of "two out of one" is to make your efforts last two meals.  So -  soak 12 oz of dry red kidney beans overnight, then salt them and boil gently for 2 hours in plenty of water.  (If you have a pressure-cooker, you can speed up the cooking.  But few people have one.)  Drain the liquid off and rinse the beans in a sieve.

Now you have enough beans to make Red Bean Salad AND Red Bean Bake.  The other ingredients are cheap and readily available.  See below.

Salad: add a chopped onion, a chopped garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of wine vinegar (or malt), 3 tablespoons olive oil (or sunflower), 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup.  Mix and stir - leave aside for 2 hours.  Serve with green salad etc.

Bake.  With a little butter, fry a chopped onion and 4 tomatoes.  (Or skip the tomatoes and use a tin of chopped ones after frying the onion.)  Mix in beans, 1 tablespoon ketchup, optional dash of red wine, salt and pepper, and make sure mixture is warmed through.  Mash if you like.
Put in a casserole, and top with breadcrumbs (Elliot suggests wholewheat) and grated cheese.  Bake at a moderate heat (about 180 deg C) until cheese has melted and breadcrumbs look crispy.

*Rose Elliot is an amazingly prolific cookery author.  Find out more about her here, on her website:- here.

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