Modern methods of food preservation have alleviated much of the need for cooks to find use for fresh produce as soon as it comes off the field. However, fresh is fabulous and there is some cache in having a garden, even if you only grow herbs. And until scientists can find a way to curtail the number of zucchini that comes off a single plant, cooks will always be struggling to find ways to sneak this bounty into their family meals.
Colorful Summer Vegetable Casserole
- 1 splash extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- 1 pinch salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large bell pepper (any color) thinly sliced
- 1 small mild onion thinly sliced
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves finely chopped
- 1/2 lb. plum tomatoes (3 or 4) sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 3 cups zucchini cut 1/4 inch thick, on the diagonal
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese freshly grated
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Coat a 9-inch x 12" baking dish with olive oil. Spread the zucchini in the dish in an even layer; drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, combine the bell pepper, onion, garlic and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
- Arrange two-thirds of the bell pepper mixture over the zucchini and drizzle with oil. Top with the tomatoes; drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with the remaining bell pepper mixture and sprinkle with the cheese.
- Put the lid on your casserole or cover the dishwith foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Increase the oven temperature to 425°. Uncover the casserole and bake for about 20 minutes longer, until the vegetables are tender and glazed on top. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve warm.