Thursday, October 2, 2014

Happy Vegetable Casserole

Yes, this casserole is happy because it's bright, pretty and tasty in a first place. And finally, it's happy because it makes you happy as it's so-o-o-o easy and fun to make!

Blog's Category: Vegetarian, My Own Fast and Easy



Intro

First time I saw this type of casserole, when vegetables are fanned out nicely in a casserole dish, in one of my favorite TV serial of Jacques Pepin. When recently I come across of such an orderly arrangement for casserole again, I just had to try it myself. I've made my own choice of vegetables as well as dressing and ended up with a wonderful results. Here it is - festive looking "happy" casserole which is pleasure to make and looks awesome on a table. 


What is it?

It's 3 or 4 types of vegetables which usually take the same amount of time to cook in an oven (approximately the same!). Those vegetables are sliced and arranged in a pretty order on oven-proof dish. Then salted, peppered, drizzled with olive oil and roasted in oven. After they are cooked, you just drizzle them with aromatic dressing, sprinkle with fresh herbs and, voila, magic has happened!


Taste Description

This casserole showcases the natural flavor of vegetables. Piece of zucchini tastes as zucchini. Same happens with tomato, eggplant and yellow squash. Actually, they taste as themselves but much better just because simple garlic vinaigrette, you drizzle them after all the cooking, makes them bloom and random tasty sparks of fresh herb in between will create a real "vegetarian heaven" for you :)


How to Serve/Store

It's great warm or cold. Also it makes healthy, low-calorie side to your grilled meat of fish.


Happy Vegetable Casserole


  • 2 yellow squash
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 small eggplants (japanese work well or any other type)
  • 4 small tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 fresh red chili peppers (optional), seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 tbs vinegar (regular or balsamic)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbs olive oil 
  • 3 stems fresh dill (or other fresh herb of your choice)
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F.

- Slice vegetables across 1/3" thick. If tomatoes or eggplants are too thick in diameter, slice them into half-circles.

- In a large oven-proof shallow dish, starting from outer edges of a  dish, arrange vegetable slices with each slice overlapping the previous almost completely (see pictures).

- Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Then remove foil and roast for 10 more minutes or until edges of your vegetables become slightly charred. Remove from an oven and let it cool for 10 minutes.

- Meanwhile prepare vinaigrette: mix together garlic, vinegar, sugar and chili pepper. Add some salt and black pepper to this mix if you think you didn't add enough to the vegetables before roasting.

- Drizzle vegetables with vinaigrette and sprinkle with a roughly chopped dill. Enjoy!


Note

- If you have raw vegetables left over - mix them together, except tomato. Add salt and pepper. Place in a small baking dish. Arrange tomato slices on a top, drizzle with olive oil and bake along with a main dish but don't cover with a foil. Remove from the oven when tomatoes on a top will look dry and slightly charred. Don't forget to drizzle with a finishing vinaigrette!

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IN PICTURES


It's very convenient to use that small oil bottles with a spout to drizzle olive oil over. 

Right from the oven...My tomatoes are sticking out in a nice weird way because they were cut in a half-circles. Some eggplant slices are circle, some - half-circles. Zucchini and squash are the easiest to slice :)


Please don't touch your eyes after slicing this chili... or use gloves!


There will be a lot of yummy juices in a bottom (remember - we didn't add a drop of water, so it's all juices).


This "side" casserole with vegetable leftovers looks (and tastes!) nice too!