Bountiful Garden recipe

I made the following recipe (courtsey of Williams-Sonoma) for dinner tonight, to utilize a wonderful bounty of summer squashes and tomatoes, and served it with whole wheat pasta. The dish could easily be transformed into a vegan delight be excluding the cheese or exchanging it for a soy-based one. I also used Panko breadcrumbs for a slightly nuttier texture. Enjoy!

Summer Vegetable Tian
Originating in Provence, a tian is a French word that describes a shallow earthenware casserole as well as the food it contains. Traditionally it features a variety of vegetables, herbs and cheeses that are layered and then baked.

  • 3/4 cup olive oil, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch strips
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 small zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch rounds
  • 2 small crookneck squash, cut into 1/8-inch rounds
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 lb. plum tomatoes, cut into 1/8-inch rounds
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup fine dried bread crumbs

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil.

In a fry pan over medium heat, warm 5 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the onion-pepper mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine the zucchini, crookneck squash, 5 Tbs. of the oil, the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to coat evenly. Arrange the zucchini, crookneck squash and tomato slices on the onion-pepper mixture, overlapping the rows. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbs. oil and bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the cheese and bread crumbs. Remove the baking dish from the oven and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on top. Bake for 15 minutes more.

Turn the oven to broil and broil until the cheese is golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6.

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