A bountiful harvest of veggies topped with cheese is on the menu tonight.
When we walked into our favorite little farmers market last week, we were thrilled to see an eye-catching rainbow of fresh, local veggies. Deep purple eggplants, sunny yellow squash, colorful peppers…our mouths were immediately watering, and our minds were racing with ideas of delicious recipes to showcase their flavors. This fresh garden casserole does the job beautifully. Tender eggplant, mushrooms and Italian cheeses lend a healthy amount of protein, so it’s a terrific solution for Meatless Monday, and the onions, peppers and fresh seasonings really enhance the flavor. The entire family loved it, and we love getting so many different fresh veggies into our hungry crew!
Serves 6; 1 hour 10 minutes
- 3 medium eggplants, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 small onions, thinly sliced
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 3 medium yellow squash, chopped
- 1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, sliced
- 3 fluid ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 1 cup)
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced (garnish)
- Place eggplant slices in dish in single layer. Sprinkle both sides with salt. Cover, and let stand 15 minutes.
- Rinse eggplant and drain. Allow to dry before quartering each slice.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Heat oil over medium-high in large skillet. Sauté eggplant until light brown. Add onions, garlic, squash, bell peppers and mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Stir in basil and parsley. Season with pepper. Cover and cook over low heat 8 to 10 minutes until tender.
- Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan and transfer veggies to prepared casserole dish.
- Combine butter and breadcrumbs in small bowl until moistened. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes.
- Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Continue baking 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with chopped vine-ripe tomatoes if desired before serving.