Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole

Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole

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This light vegetarian main course features eggplant and zucchini, vegetables that make frequent appearances in Sardinian cooking. It’s a bit like a Sardinian eggplant parmesan! You can also serve it alongside cooked and drained whole wheat pasta tossed in a little olive oil and minced garlic.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Italian eggplant (about 12 ounces), stemmed, peeled, and sliced into
  • 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 medium zucchini (about 5 ounces), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash (about 4 ounces), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the baking pan
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes (about 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary leaves or 1/2 tbsp dried ground rosemary
  • 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino Romano (about 4 ounces) (optional)

Directions

  1. Spread the eggplant slices, zucchini strips, and squash strips on paper towels on your work surface; sprinkle with half of the salt. Turn the vegetables and sprinkle with the remaining salt. Set aside for 30 minutes, then rinse the vegetables and pat dry with fresh paper towels.
  2. Position the rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil the inside of a 9-inch square baking dish.
    Warm the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until very soft but not brown, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, and rosemary. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the consistency of a thick sauce, about 15 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Spread half the tomato sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with even layers of the eggplant rounds, zucchini strips, and summer squash in that order. Spread the remaining tomato sauce on top and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
  5. Bake until bubbly and lightly browned, about 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.