Mary McCartney's Cheese Eggplant Oven Bake

A Family-Friendly Vegetarian Dinner

PHOTO: Mary McCartney shares simple, vegetarian meals for the whole family in her new cookbook, In Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking.
Difficulty: Easy
Cook Time: min

Mary McCartney, acclaimed photographer and daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney, shares simple, vegetarian meals that the whole family can enjoy in her new cookbook, "In Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking."

"This dish is wonderful just as it is, but sometimes I like to vary the recipe for a change. A pinch of chili flakes added to the tomato sauce provides a great kick, and 3 ounces of vegetarian ground meat substitute cooked into the tomato sauce adds substantial 'bite' to the meal. Feel free to play around with it too. This is good served with sauteed leeks and a leafy salad or steamed green beans" -- Mary McCartney


  • 4 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs, plus a pinch set aside for the olive oil mixture
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 medium eggplants, sliced crosswise into discs 1/3 inch thick
  • 3 ounces soft goat cheese or chopped mozzarella
  • 4 ounces goat Cheddar or sharp Cheddar, grated
  • handful fresh basil leaves (if available), roughly chopped
  • Cooking Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    First make the tomato sauce. In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and gently saute the chopped onion until softened and slightly golden brown, about 8 minutes. Then stir in the garlic, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, mixed herbs, a small pinch of sea salt, and some black pepper. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce has thickened. Set aside.

    In a small bowl combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the soy sauce, and the pinch of mixed herbs. Lightly brush both sides of each eggplant slice with the olive oil mixture. Saute the slices in batches in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

    Spread a third of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a medium baking dish. Arrange a layer of eggplant slices over the sauce and then spoon 1 teaspoon of tomato sauce over each eggplant disc. Scatter crumbled pieces of the soft goat cheese over the disc, followed by a layer of eggplant. Spoon the remaining tomato sauce over the eggplant slices and, finally, scatter the basil leaves and grated Cheddar over the top.

    Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomato sauce is bubbling and the cheese is lightly brown on top.

    Recipe Summary

    Main Ingredients: olive oil, onion, chopped tomatoes, eggplants, goat cheese

    Course: Dinner, Pasta, Vegetable

    More Info: Vegetarian

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