Meatless Monday: Provençal Vegetable Casserole

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We tend to be very cheap frugal in this house when it comes to entertainment, but there are a few things we willingly spend money on:  music, food, and drinks.  I mentioned a few weeks ago that we subscribed to the Food & Wine publication.  Seriously, this is the only magazine we have paid for.  It is right up our alley.  Recipes, drink recommendations, along with travel highlights thrown in.  When we receive the latest edition in the mail, we both scour it for recipes we want to try.  I’ll be honest:  ALL of the recipes look delicious, but this isn’t a spin-off of 30-minute meals.  There are many that appear too laborious or require too many exotic ingredients.  So, while we enjoy looking at the pictures, we know some of these recipes will never end up on our menu.

Several years ago, we hosted Easter dinner at our house.  We had recently received the April 2011 edition of Food & Wine, and tonight’s recipe was one of the side dishes we chose to serve.  It did not disappoint.  It is fairly easy to prepare, although it does require some time to bake.  It’s a great dish for entertaining because all of the mess is made in the prep, and then you’re left with an hour and half of bake/rest time to clean up 😉  You could also easily prep ahead of time.  (My favorite kind of entertaining recipe!)  The recipe also makes a good portion, so it’s great for a crowd or for leftovers.  There are so many things you could do with leftover roasted vegetables!  While originally I served this as a side dish, the eggplant and zucchini give the dish enough depth to serve as a meatless entrée.  I served it with some tri-color quinoa tonight.

Provençal Vegetable Casserole

(Adapted from Food & Wine)


2 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp oregano, chopped
One 1 1/2-pound eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
Two 1/2-pound zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
1 TBS chives, chopped

1 TBS herbes de provence


Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add half of the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat for about 10 seconds per side. Transfer the tomatoes to a large plate; repeat with the remaining slices.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the onion, garlic and oregano, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Season with salt and pepper; remove from the heat.
Oil a 9-by-13-inch ceramic or glass baking dish. Arrange one-third of the eggplant on the bottom of the dish, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Scatter half of the onions on top, followed by half of the zucchini. Drizzle the zucchini with oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the oregano. Arrange half of the tomatoes and their cooking juices over the zucchini. Repeat the layering, sprinkling the second layer of zucchini with the chives, and ending with a final layer of eggplant. Drizzle with oil; season with salt, pepper, and herbes de provence.
Cover the casserole with foil and bake in the upper third of the oven for 1 hour. Remove the foil. Continue baking for 30 minutes longer, until very tender.
Preheat the broiler. Broil the casserole 4 inches from the heat until browned. Let rest for at least 15 minutes, then serve.
Provençal Vegetable Casserole
Bon Appétit!
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