With the trees just about to break from bud into a kaleidoscope of lime green visual delight, and a slightly cold wind coming in, I decided to make this warming cleavers bake. Cleavers is also known as goosegrass. You must only pick the top tips of the cleavers as they might be too stringy if you use older growth.
- 650g sliced (rounds) aubergine
- 150g cleavers tips
- 2 onions (sliced)
- 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 2 tbsp mixed herbs
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 500ml cheese sauce
- 2 tsps tomato puree
- Slice aubergine, then lightly oil the slices, now grill them for 2 minutes on high until wilted, turning occasionally.
- Steam fry the cleavers straight from being washed, do not bother to shake dry, then set aside.
- Sauté the onions and garlic until translucent, then add the tin tomatoes, mixed herbs, a pinch of salt and the tomato puree. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime make up your cheese sauce. When both the sauces are ready, layer a dish with tomato sauce, aubergine, cleavers and cheese sauce, then repeat until all used up finishing with a layer of cheese sauce on top.
- Pop in the oven at 180 degrees and bake until piping hot and bubbling, about 30 minutes.