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VEGETABLE COB LOAF

To make this recipe you will need an assortment of vegetables suitable for grilling or roasting. I typically use eggplant (2), zucchini (2), sweet potato (2), pumpkin (1/4 whole), red capsicum (2) and carrot (3), but experiment with what ever you have. The vegetables simply need to be suitable for grilling or roasting. This vegetable cob loaf can be served hot or cold.

INGREDIENTS:

●  Assorted vegetables suitable for grilling or roasting
●  Pesto (see our recipe to make your own)
●  250gm Ricotta cheese
●  -1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
●  Oil for grilling/roasting

METHOD:
Prepare the vegetables by peeling and slicing lengthways into 1cm slices. If using the eggplant you will need to remove the skin, slice the eggplant, sprinkle salt on the slices and set it aside for around half an hour to draw out any bitterness. Wash the salt from the eggplant and pat dry before grilling. Red capsicum will need to have the seeds and membrane removed. Char the skin of the capsicum under a griller until it blisters and goes black. Place the hot capsicum into a plastic bag to sweat and make it easy to remove the skin.

Char grill or roast all the vegetables until cooked using a small amount of oil.
Mix the Ricotta and Parmesan cheese together.

Carefully slice the top from the bread. Empty the top and the bread cavity of the soft interior to create the vessel in which the vegetables will be placed. Spread a generous amount of pesto on the inside of the top and on the sides and the base within the cavity of the cob loaf.

Progressively layer the different cooked vegetables. After each couple of layers of different vegetables, spread a thin layer of the Ricotta and parmesan mix. I usually aim for three layers of the cheese mix within a cob.

Continue layering until the cob is full and mounded with vegetables. Place the top back on the vegetable filled cob loaf. Wrap the cob leaf completely in plastic wrap or a tea towel. Place on a plate, put another plate on top and weight it down by placing a couple of cans of tinned food or a whole pumpkin on top. Place all this in the refrigerator overnight.

You can prepare the vegetable cob loaf for eating in two ways:
To Serve Cold Remove the weights and wrap. Place in a hot oven for around ten minutes until the bread is crisp. Remove from the oven, cut into wedges and serve. The crust will be crunchy, but the centre will be cold.

To Serve Hot Remove the weights but retain the cloth or plastic wrap. Place the cob in a microwave oven on high for 10-12 minutes. Remove the wrap and place on a tray in a hot oven for around ten minutes until the bread is crisp. Cut into wedges to serve. The crust will be crunchy and the centre will be hot.

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