Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer's end veggies

It's the end of summer, and our CSA box is inundating us with the end-of-summer veggies: tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and peppers. These aren't my favourite vegetables - most of them have to be cooked, unlike the height of summer faves, cucumbers and lettuce, and I find them harder to digest than the fall harvest of greens and squash. I've been making a lot of ratatouille, (just kidding, go to this link) but I'm getting a little sick of it. Last night I made a variation that had the benefit of being easier, and using less dishes. Like the classic ratatouille, it tasted even better the next day.

Proven├žal Vegetable Gratin

1 medium eggplant
2 medium zucchini
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, tomato pieces, or canned tomatoes
6-8 garlic cloves
2 tbl olive oil
1-2 tbl Herbes de Provence*
Sea salt
1/2 cup raw milk cheddar (parmesan would be fine)

Thinly slice the eggplant and zucchini and layer in a baking dish. Distribute garlic cloves and tomatoes on top. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with Herbes de Provence and a pinch of sea salt. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 1.5 hours (I err on the side of overcooking, especially with eggplant). Sprinkle with cheese and pop back in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Delicious cold the next day, reheats wonderfully.

*Herbes de Provence is a herb mixture typically containing savory, rosemary, basil, thyme and lavender. It's a great kitchen staple, but you could substitute a mixture of rosemary, oregano, basil and thyme.