Garden Vegetable Bake

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4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 green peppers, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
20 cloves garlic, minced, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 small eggplant, thinly sliced, skin on
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
bunch of basil leaves, washed, dried, stacked
6 ounces feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Sauté the green pepper and onion slices in the oil until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add half the minced garlic and cook another minute. Spread this mixture evenly over the bottom of a large glass rectangular baking dish (8 1/2 x 13 x 2 inches is what mine measures).

Cover the pepper/onion base with a single layer of the eggplant slices. Salt and pepper a bit. Top the eggplant with pretty alternating rows of zucchini slices and tomato slices. They can overlap. Season again with salt and pepper. Cut the basil leaves into ribbons and strew over all. Sprinkle with the remaining garlic. Drizzle with the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Bake uncovered in the center of oven. After about 20 minutes of cooking, pan juices will start to appear. Baste the top of the casserole with the pan juices 3 or 4 times during the cooking. Bake until vegetables are quite tender, about another 30 minutes. Sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese over the top of the casserole and return to the oven for another 5 minutes or so or until the cheese starts to break down.

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