Monday, August 8, 2011

Summer Vegetable Tian (Casserole)

I found this recipe in Martha Stewart's magazine several years ago. It is delicious as well as impressive looking. This takes "casserole" to another level! Forget the cream of mushroom soup goopy mixtures of your childhood - this is soooo much better!!! Substitute vegetables as you have them, just keep the design. You can even use thinly sliced red potatoes in the layers... use your imagination.... and delight your taste buds!

Vegetable Tian

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, quartered lengthwise, rinsed well, and cut into ¼-inch slices (1 ½ cups) OR 1 ½ cups sliced Vidalia onion
1 clove garlic, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 zucchini, very thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 yellow squash, very thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
2 plum tomatoes, very thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 small Italian eggplant, unpeeled, very thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
¼ cup very dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon whole dry oregano flakes)
Grated Parmesan, if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leek (or Vidalia) and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Spread in bottom of a 9-inch gratin dish or round baking dish.

Arrange vegetables over leek in slightly overlapping circles, alternating zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and eggplant.

Top with wine, 1 tablespoon oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Bake until vegetables are tender, 30 minutes or more. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Note: If small Italian or Japanese eggplants are not available, use small diameter eggplant. After slicing, place on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Turn over and sprinkle the other side. Let stand for about 30 minutes, then rinse with cold water and drain well. This will remove bitterness in the eggplant.

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