Roasted Vegetable Casserole

This is a busy week, so I’m going for simplicity!  Both this and the next recipe are adapted from “Everyday Italian” by Giada de Laurentiis. Today’s recipe is a layered vegetable casserole, topped with tomato slices and Parmesan cheese, and roasted at 450 degrees for about 40 minutes. Roasting is a great way to treat vegetables, I often just cut up a bunch of veggies, toss them with olive oil, and roast at 450 degrees until they’re tender.

The usual way of roasting vegetables is to keep a single layer of vegetables so that they can roast rather than steam, and start to caramelize a bit. In this case, the casserole is layered and has tomatoes on top which add moisture – so the veggies both roast and steam, for a slightly different taste – but still a very colorful and tasty result!  Specific veggies are suggested in the following recipe, but you can use pretty much any combination you have on hand.

Roasted Vegetable Casserole
olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 white potato, 1/2-inch cubes
1 sweet potato, 1/2-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thickly
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
1 small zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp. bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the potatoes, red pepper, and carrots together with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. each of salt and black pepper. Layer in a 9×13 casserole dish. Then add onion slices in a layer, and zucchini and eggplant in a layer. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil on top, then sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper.

Layer tomato slices over the top and drizzle with another 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Mix together cheese, bread crumbs, and remaining salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the top. Bake uncovered at 450 degrees for about 40 minutes. The vegetables should be cooked and the top will be nicely browned as in the picture above. Serve garnished with fresh basil.

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