Tomato and Basil Garden Bake

Dear cousins!

Its been quite long that we all have written letters to each other through this blog…but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been in touch with each other. My recent visit to India and the numerous messages exchanged via chat portals filled the time between my last post and this.  So someone will ask us now, why continue the silsila of letters again?? To that I would happily answer, I MISS MY FOOD TALK!!! Its not that we have stopped cooking, eating or travelling in the last 1.5 month; we just couldn’t catch up with our food blog.  Now I feel that I must apologise to our food and travel Blog for abandoning it like an orphan…Niloy has been making me feel guilty for quite some time now about this, but when last night I received a mail from Facebook saying, ‘You haven’t visited your Curry Cousins Page for some time’ the guilt reached another level…(I actually freaked out considering how much these sites and search engines know about us!! It reminded me of a discussion that I used to have with my friends like Chandni, Smaran, Ali and Mubbashira that in today’s world, someone is always watching….).

Anyways, coming back to my topic, let me start the writing again with a delicious yet very simple garden bake. One cold evening, when Niloy was away for an office party,  I suddenly had a craving for cheese…I ended up making this with whatever was left in the fridge!!!

Tomato and Basil Garden Bake

Tomato and Basil Garden Bake

Tomato and Basil Garden Bake

2 cups vegetables – diced

(anything would do carrots, beans, celery, zucchini, parsnips, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms)

1/2 cup corn

1/2 cup leek sliced in circles

3-4 large potatoes sliced in circles

1/2-1 cup grated cheddar cheese (the more the merrier :D)

3-4 tomatoes – diced

3 big cloves of garlic coarsely chopped

5-7 basil leaves (can be replaced with mint)

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

In a pan, heat the oil and throw in the garlic.  Before they turn light brown, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Let this cook till the tomatoes are soft and sauce kind of consistency develops. Add the basil and set aside.

Take a baking dish and dunk all the veggies in it (mix corn as well).  Top it with 1/2 of the tomato sauce, 2-3 sprinkles of water, salt, pepper and then use half of the potato slices to make a layer on it.  Then mix the leek and 1/2 of the cheese and evenly spread it over the potato.  Pour the remaining sauce and another layer of the remaining potatoes.  Seal with a foil and cook for 20-30 minutes at 180 degrees.

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Pull it out of the oven and check if the potatoes are cooked or not by poking in a knife.  Some potatoes take longer, but thin slices should cook fast.  Once you are sure they are done, sprinkle the rest of the cheese and bake for another 10-15 minutes or till the cheese is nicely melted and gets a golden color. Serve hot!! Trust me, its delicious yet very simple!!

This makes a lovely side dish for steaks or roasted chicken as well.

Try it!!

Lots of love,

Dakhina

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