Friday, August 19, 2016

Summer Spoils

I don't know what to call this concoction, other than delicious. It sort of blurs the line between a lasagna and a gratin. Regardless, I ate WAY too much of it. But, seeing as it was vegetarian and used far less cheese than I normally use (I was running low), I regret nothing. It started with the abundance of summer vegetables in my CSA share. I wanted to use as much as I could because the stuff generally doesn't last long being that it is free of pesticides and preservatives. So, I started with a TON of tomatoes that were starting to get squishy,  1 small eggplant, 1 zucchini, 1 green pepper and 1 onion. I cut away all the icky parts on the tomatoes and cored and diced them to make a quick sauce. I didn't have any garlic left (the horrors!) but I did have some garlic scapes left in the back of my veggie drawer that were still hanging on so I cut them up and threw them in with the tomatoes along with a handful of fresh basil and let that all cook away (lid on). While the tomatoes were cooking I sliced my eggplant into planks, the zucchini into coins, the onion into rings and the pepper into somewhat flat planks. I cooked each of these in my grill pan until they were soft and pliable. You could certainly cook them on a grill but I didn't feel like sweating my ass off outside. The humidity has been off the charts lately and it is gross out there. The goal is to remove as much liquid from the vegetables as possible so you don't end up with a soupy mess of a casserole. Once that was done, my tomatoes were ready to process so I added a can of tomato paste to them and hit them with the immersion blender. BAM - sauce done. Next came the assembly. I coated the bottom of a casserole dish with sauce then I added a layer of eggplant followed by a layer of zucchini. Next came a layer of ricotta cheese - maybe 3/4 cup, followed by a layer of onion and pepper. Next came another layer of sauce topped with the last of the eggplant and zucchini. This was topped with more sauce and about a Cup of shredded mozzarella cheeses and a handful of Parmesan cheese. I baked this at 350F for about 40 minutes. Now, you should let this stand for a bit before eating it but I was hungry and dove right it. It was delicious.

Grilled Summer Vegetable Bake
2 Cups tomato sauce - jarred or homemade
1 small eggplant - cut lengthwise into planks
1 medium zucchini - cut into coins
1 medium onion - slice into rings (do not separate rings, leave in disks)
1 green pepper - cut into planks
3/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Preheat over to 350F

Grill vegetables on both sides until soft and pliable. Set aside.

In a casserole dish layer vegetable, cheeses and sauce as follows:
Ricotta cheese
(Repeat with what ever veggies are left - I had enough eggplant and zucchini for 1 layer using them together)
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan Cheese

Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving (or not if you're hungry).

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