Monday, August 29, 2011

The Vegetables of Summer: Italian Veggie Bake

Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Oh My!  Do you ever wonder what you are going to do with an overabundance of summer veggies?  I have the perfect solution: an Italian veggie bake.  This dish uses an array of summer vegetables in a simple way that brings out the flavors of summer.  When I told Anthony I was going to serve this for lunch, he said, "No!  I don't want that.  It's just a big plate of vegetables."  Despite his refusal, I served it to him anyway and not only did he eat every bite, but later I found him scooping some into a Tupperware container for work the next day.  I find a little piece of satisfaction every time I win over a picky eater with a healthy dish.  Feel free to use this recipe to impress guests (or your veggie-restive husband) on special occasions or ordinary weeknights alike.   

Layering summer vegetables makes a hearty, but light vegetarian meal
4 tomatoes on the vine, sliced 1/4" thick
1 large summer squash, sliced 1/4" thick
1 zucchini, sliced 1/4" thick
3 yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
2 sweet onions, sliced 1/4" thick
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fresh or dried thyme
Fresh Parmesan for grating
Sea salt (optional)

1. In a saute pan, heat some oil over medium high.  Add onions and cook until soft and browning.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F and line a 13x9 baking pan with nonstick foil (for easy cleanup).  Spray with a little olive oil spray.
All lined up and ready for the oven!
3. When onions are cooked, spread them on the bottom of the prepared pan.  Add the other vegetables on top, layering them one at a time (ie potato, then tomato, then squash, then zucchini) until all veggies are gone or the pan is filled.
4. Drizzle the entire pan with olive oil (or use an olive oil sprayer and spray all the vegetables well).  Sprinkle with fresh or dried thyme.  Grate fresh Parmesan on top and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
5. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes.  Then remove the foil cover and bake another 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  Serve.

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