It's really important to first, determine what vegetables you would like to use; look for at least 3-4 different colored vegetables with similar textures. Next, you would want to look for vegetables that are all similar in size! (Don't purchase the small zucchini in the store, and try to stack it with a large slice of eggplant- it will get lost!) I failed to take a pic of how I stacked the veggies in my casserole dish, (this happens a lot when I'm in the midst of cooking, and always distracted by the children!!), but you need to find a pan or baking dish that will accommodate your stacks appropriately! (Your vegetables should not be above the top of your dish/pan, as you will need to cover these when baking!) Sauces are not necessary, and I personally enjoy my vegetables best simply seasoned. However, I decided to take this to the next level by making a simple Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, to add a real punch of flavor! You could use any kind of pesto with this, and even purchase some for added convenience. Or, these vegetables are amazing with just their natural flavors, and some salt and pepper! Super fun, and oh-so- good!
Yields: 6-8 servings
1 eggplant (sliced)
1 large zucchini (sliced)
1 large yellow squash (sliced)
2 large red tomato (sliced)
1 large red onion (sliced)
Salt & pepper
Grapeseed or Olive oil
***I cup of Mozzarella, Paremsan, or Asiago cheese
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto: Yields about 1 cup
1/4 cup of Sun-dried tomatoes (re-constituted in some warm water for about 20-30min.)
1 t. salt
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup of Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1 T. Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup parsley
1/4 cup of walnuts (or any kind of nut you prefer)
1/2 cup+ Grapeseed or Olive oil
1) For the pesto: drain off most of the water from the tomatoes. Place all ingredients, (except the oil), in a food processor, and puree. Add in the oil last, and stream in while processing until you have the desired thickness. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400F
2) Take your baking dish or pan for the vegetables, and drizzle some oil at the bottom. Begin "stacking" the vegetables. For example, 1 slice of eggplant, 1 slice of yellow squash, 1 slice zucchini, 1 slice tomato, 1 slice red onion, and then repeat! Once each stack is assembled, begin to place in your dish with the slices "standing up". (Don't place the stacks in your pan as they are on the plated pic above! The slices should actually be placed in the pan so that the rinds are showing on all sides- NOT flesh side up!) I hope this makes sense! (I'm sorry, I know a pic would've been more helpful!!) You just want to keep stacking in the veggies until it's nice and tight in the pan, and try to arrange them so they look nice and neat. Liberally season with salt and pepper, and drizzle some oil over the top as well. If using the pesto, simply smear on some pesto over the top of the stacks. Cover with foil, and bake for about 35-40min. at 400F. Remove from the oven, if veggies look pretty done, remove the foil, sprinkle on the cheese, and bake for another 5-10min. (You are really just looking to melt the cheese.) Remove from the oven, and serve!