February 01, 2011

Layered Eggplant, Zucchini and Tomato Casserole

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I love vegetables whether they are grilled, baked, sauteed or blanched. One challenge I love to give myself is to find different ways to have vegetables with dinner either as a side dish or the main menu and always keeping in the back of my mind that we need to eat more veggies more ofter. I've never been a lover of eggplant and would defiantly pass and eggplant dish up if there is any other option but when I came across this recipe my mouth just started to water and I could taste just how good this dish could be. Do you ever have that feeling where you see a picture of a perfectly arranged dish or a cooking show on tv and it just makes you want to run out and make whatever they were showing... well this that one of those moments and luckily I had most of the ingredients in the fridge but I wanted to change a few things up.

Layered Eggplant, Zucchini and Tomato Casserole

Photos by A Healthy Jalapeno
Original recipe by: Food&Wine


3 T. olive oil, plus more for greasing and brushing
3 medium zucchini (1 1/2 pounds), sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
2 eggplants (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/3 inch thick
salt and pepper
2 tb minced garlic
1 pound plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 freshly grated  parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
8 oz mozzarella cheese 
1/8 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup panko or coarse dry bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 425.
Oil 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Put the zucchini slices on one sheet and the eggplant on the other. Brush the slices all over with oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the slices on each sheet in a slightly overlapping layer. Bake for 15 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat until slightly softened and bubbling, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Oil a large, shallow baking dish (about 10 by 15 inches). Lay half of the eggplant in the dish and spread one-fourth of the tomatoes on top. Scatter with half of the mozzarella and basil. Layer half of the zucchini on top, followed by another one-fourth of the tomato and the remaining basil, eggplant and zucchini. Top with the remaining tomato and mozzarella. Mix the panko with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and parmigiana and any leftover herbs and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 minutes, until bubbling and crisp. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve hot or warm.
I swapped out feta for mozzarella because it's just such a better taste and let me just tell you Paul and I absolutely loved it. The taste was so rich and warming on these cold winter nights. I paired the dish with a large cut whole grain baguette with a little garlic olive oil. Delicious!
I hope everyone loves this as much as we did.


veegee159 said...

Well I did it. I could taste both the eggplant and zuke. I used San Marzano tomatoes from the can and the flavor totally complimented the other vegs. I added just a little bit of Jones'sausage while cooking the tomatoes. I'll add it again next time.
I can't wait to have the leftovers!
Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I just made this delicious casserole! Got all the veggies and herbs right out of the garden. Loved it!! What a tasty way to use lots of home grown produce.