As summer is coming, it calls for a few more summery flavours, and dishes that remind us of our holidays in the Mediterranean! So I’m loving this Greek-style ‘Feta’ Casserole with Crispy Garlic Crust. This dish has some of the quintessential vegetables of the Mediterranean such as olives and peppers, along with a mock-feta cheese, which has its traditional home in Greece. The casserole is given an extra nutty and cheesy taste from nutritional yeast, and its softness is contrasted beautifully with the crispy garlic breadcrumb crust.
The warmer seasons bring with them new seasonal vegetables, and as a seasonal recipe blog, this always excites us at The Vegan Larder. I’ve been inspired by Greek cuisine for this dish, and wanted to create something that uses traditional Greek flavours, such as black olives, for a delicious and filling hot dish (summer isn’t quite with is yet!) with a cheesy element to it.
The vegetables in this casserole are some of our favourites; mushrooms, courgettes and peppers, and these all go so well in tomato sauce. The best thing about cooking vegetables in a casserole is that you get more flavour from them, and the addition of lots of herbs really adds to the richness. This kind of dish is quite flexible too, mix up the vegetables according to what you have to hand or depending on your preference, for example, aubergine would work well in there as would spinach.
I’ve chosen to use smoked paprika in the casserole as this gives it a lovely oaky, smokey taste, and is one of my favourite flavours. It also has oregano, which is a typical Mediterranean herb. Again, there are lots of alternatives here depending on your tastes. You could add extra chilli to give it even more of a kick, or use thyme or basil. Sometimes it also depends on what you have available at home!
And how have we created the 'Feta cheesy' element in this Greek-style ‘Feta’ Casserole with Crispy Garlic Crust?
The feta cheese replacement is a fermented tofu. We tend to use the Taifun brand, which they cleverly call 'Feto'. It's easily available in the UK in Health Food stores & larger supermarkets. As it’s fermented it has a cheesy sort of taste, and tastes delicious in this tomatoey casserole. If you can't get it, use a firm tofu that you have marinated in lemon juice & herbs for a few hours.
The most fun bit is probably the garlicky crust. I am a proud and out garlic addict, so I love this part. Any sort of bread will work for this, and staler the bread, the better (it will crisp up more). I’ve used 6 slices of bread so this topping is nice and thick, so it really gives that crusty look and feel.
This dish is great served with couscous, rice or tabbouleh, and of course best served in the garden with the sun and glass of wine or juice!
Greek-style ‘Feta’ Casserole with Crispy Garlic Crust
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 3 medium courgette,s chopped
- 6 medium mushrooms, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 packets Taifun fetu fermented tofu (~ 1 ½ cups when diced)
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes or blended fresh tomatoes (~ 2 ⅔ cups in total)
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 150 g black olives
- 2 tbsp dried / fresh oregano
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ tsp crushed chilli flakes
- 2 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
The Garlic Crust
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- Few sprigs fresh parsley
- 6 slices bread, torn into a few pieces
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Pre heat oven to 190 C.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add the onion to the oil. Allow to cook for a few minutes.
- Add the other vegetables to the oil and onion. Cook until soft. Then add the garlic.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, black olives, oregano, paprika, nutritional yeast and chilli flakes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut up one packet of the feto into small chunks, and add to the vegetable mix.
- Put the vegetable and feto mix into a casserole dish. Take the other packet of feto and crumble it over the casserole.
- Next put the garlic bread crust mix on the top.
- Bake for around 20 minutes or until the crust has gone crispy and golden brown.
The Garlic Crust
- Put all ingredients in a food processor.
- Blitz well to produce garlic breadcrumbs.