Layered Vegetable Casserole
A cross between ratatouille and eggplant parmesan, here is a casserole that can be frozen and served all year round. It’s a great way to enjoy the bounty of a local farmers’ market or use up all of your own garden vegetables that you can’t possibly eat or give away. Feel free to use this basic recipe as a guide to include any other vegetables that you like. Cheese may be omitted to make the dish vegan or more can be added if you prefer a very cheesy dish. The result is always tasty and enough for a main dish for six or a side for more.
- 2 eggplants
- 6 yellow crookneck squashes
- 3-4 zucchinis
- 6 small fresh Campari tomatoes or 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 whole garlic bulb
- Olive oil to drizzle
- Salt to taste
- 2 14 1/2-ounce cans of diced tomatoes or 4 large fresh tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh pesto base (basil leaves chopped finely with a little olive oil, salt and garlic)
- 8-12 ounces fresh or part-skim mozzarella cheese (optional)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees on convection/bake setting or 375 degrees on regular bake setting. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets, enough to lay out all vegetables in a single layer, with parchment paper. Slice eggplants, yellow squash and zucchini into 1/4-inch slices and mix in a large bowl with a small amount of olive oil to lightly coat vegetables. Slice Campari tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices or halve cherry or grape tomatoes and lightly coat with a little olive oil. Remove any loose outer layers of skin from the garlic bulb leaving the entire bulb intact. Coat with a small amount of olive oil and salt. Place vegetables on the baking sheets in a single layer, including the whole bulb of garlic. Lightly salt eggplant and tomatoes only. Salt and pepper can be added later if needed. Roast in heated oven until well roasted, about 20 to 30 minutes on the convection/bake setting. Reduce oven to 325 degrees on regular bake. When vegetables are ready, remove trays and let cool.
- In a deep 9 x 13-inch casserole dish, spread a layer of fresh or canned diced tomatoes and top with a layer of the roasted vegetables. Squeeze a few individual cloves of garlic out of roasted bulb and place dollops of garlic paste on the veggies. The roasted garlic is very mild, so don’t worry about adding too much. Add another layer of fresh or canned tomatoes mixed with a teaspoon of pesto base. Top with a layer of mozzarella and parmesan and repeat until or vegetables are used. Top with a layer of cheeses and roasted tomatoes. Add dollops of remaining pesto and garlic if desired. Bake in oven for at least an hour or until liquids are reduced.