Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cookbook Challenge: Tomato Vegetable Casserole

This is the second time I've made a baked vegetable casserole, and once again I really liked the results. You have to put in some effort at the beginning, chopping and layering all the veggies. But then it just bakes without any effort from the cook, allowing the other dishes to be prepared at a relaxed pace. Joe and I couldn't decide if the Vegetable Tian or this dish was better... overall they're very similar and both delicious. As Giada suggests, this dish has room for interpretation, so feel free to try it with whatever vegetables you favor. Just be sure to chop the vegetables in consistently sized pieces, so they all cook evenly. And I don't know about you, but baked/roasted tomatoes are one of my favorite flavors, so I might add more next time.

Tomato Vegetable Casserole from Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis

1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 medium yam, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced into rings

2 small or 1 large zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick pieces

salt and pepper

2 large ripe tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick pieces

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

2 Tbsp dried breadcrumbs

Fresh springs of basil, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss the potato, yam, bell pepper, carrots, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss until coated. Spread vegetables evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Arrange the onion slices evenly over the vegetable mixture. Arrange the zucchini over the onion. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the tomato slices over the zucchini.

Stir the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the Parmesan bread crumbs over the vegetables in the baking dish. Drizzle with the last tablespoon of olive oil.

Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender, and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs, if desired.

With the relaxed kitchen atmosphere as my vegetables baked, I decided to bake some cracked wheat bread. I will post it soon, I promise!

And as always, I have to put the full plate shot. The pasta was pretty basic, and I also made pan seared yellow fin tuna that was fantastic. Tuna is great rare, and is best simply prepared, with salt and pepper.


Katie said...

Oh my goodness, yum! This looks SOOO delicious! I seriously LVE roasted vegetable anything!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Always interested in veggie casseroles and this looks like it could be very good, even serve as the main course!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

It looks perfect!

suze said...

i'm totally going to have to try this one. i have a recipe for a vegetarian polenta bake that you'd probably enjoy! i'll try to hunt it down and send it to you :).

A World in a PAN said...

THis sounds so much like summer to me! After two weeks in the Southern Hemisphere I was longing for colorful produce from my market! I will try this dleightful recipe this very week!

Jann said...

This looks so inviting! What colors! Hope you were having company when you served this-