Monday, October 17, 2011

Meatless Monday - Cob Loaf Love....

I got the whole idea of Meatless Mondays from this page....I think its an awesome idea. Although we don't go meatless every Monday, I do try and have a couple of meat free dinners every week.

Lately we have had an over abundance of bread in the freezer because our church gets leftovers from the local bakery once a week - so I had to track down a yummy recipe to use it up! This one is perfect for a cob loaf or even a regular uncut loaf.

Layered Vegetable Cob Loaf
( Adapted from an Exclusively Food recipe here)

You will need about half a medium butternut pumpkin, two large zucchini and a large capsicum for this recipe.

270g red capsicum
550g peeled butternut pumpkin
2 tablespoons oil
350g zucchini, ends removed
250g mushrooms
1 round cob loaf, unsliced (about 20cm in diameter)
50g baby spinach leaves
150g feta cheese, crumbled or sliced
44g (1/2 cup) parmesan cheese, grated or shaved
2-3 tablespoons pesto (we used sundried tomato pesto)
Salt and pepper

(My Variations: I used green capsicum, sweet potato egg plant, zucchini and baby spinach leaves - with tasty and mozzerlla cheeses. I also used pizza sauce instead of pesto. To prepare eggplant, slice up, salt each side and rest for awhile on a clean tea towel. I just fried them in a bit of oil, make sure the oil is hot enough - or else the eggplant will absorb too much oil.)

Cut capsicum into quarters and remove seeds and membrane. Place under a very hot grill, skin side up, until
most of the skin has blackened. Remove from grill, place in a small bowl, cover and allow to cool. (I had never done this before, its super easy and the capsicum is so tasty!)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Cut pumpkin into 1/2cm slices. Place on a baking tray, toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil, season with salt and
pepper and bake for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Turn the pumpkin once during the cooking time. Set
pumpkin aside to cool.
Slice zucchini lengthwise into pieces 1/2cm thick. Cut mushrooms into 1/2cm thick slices. Toss zucchini and
mushroom with salt, pepper and remaining tablespoon of oil. Grill or pan fry until vegetables are golden and
cooked through. Set aside to cool.
Remove charred skin from capsicum. Cut capsicum into strips.
Cut a ‘lid’ from the top of cob loaf and set aside. Remove most of the bread from inside the loaf, leaving a 2cm shell.

Spread the inside of the loaf and lid with pesto.
Use about half of the pumpkin slices to line the base of the cob, pressing down firmly. Create layers with half of each of the remaining vegetables. Top with half the feta and parmesan.
Repeat the layers, pressing firmly, until all the ingredients have been used, or the cob is full. Replace the lid and tightly wrap the loaf in aluminium foil.

Place cob on a large plate and top with an unturned plate. Place something heavy on the top plate to weigh the loaf down. Refrigerate for at least a few hours to allow the loaf to consolidate.
If serving the cob hot, heat the foil-wrapped loaf in a moderate oven (180 degrees Celsius) for 30 to 40

If serving cold, remove the foil and place cob on an oven tray. Bake in a very hot oven (220 degrees Celsius) for 5 minutes to crisp the crust. Cut into wedges to serve. (this is what I did to reheat it the next day for lunch.....mmmmmm :)

I adore this meal - however, I would also like to note that my kids hated it and only wanted to eat the crusty bread without the fillings....whatever ;) it made for some yummy lunches for me for the next couple of days!

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