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Char-Baked Tomato, Zucchini and Eggplant

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The trick to this dish is to bake it much longer than you might expect and keep pushing down the mixture with a spatula to release the moisture. From the book "Mad Hungry" by Lucinda Scala Quinn. (Artisan Books).

  • Servings: 8

Source: Mad Hungry, November 2010

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 5 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small eggplant, about 6 inches long, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 zucchini, about 5 inches long, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Pour some of the olive oil to cover the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch rectangular or 12-inch oval baking dish. Layer in half of the onion slices and one third of the tomatoes. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a layer of eggplant and sprinkle on more salt. Add another third of the tomatoes, the zucchini, garlic, thyme, and the remaining onions. Top with the remaining tomatoes. Press down on the mixture with your hands. Pour over the remaining olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. (Don't worry. The vegetables will be piled high but collapse as they cook.)

  3. Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. After 45 minutes, press the mixture down firmly with a spatula. The vegetables should be reduced in height, and should be brownish black and caramelized, almost charred in places. Return to the oven to finish roasting. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, so the mixture can solidify a bit. Cut into squares and serve.

Reviews Add a comment

  • sreengleen
    28 MAY, 2015
    This is going into my regular rotation. My standard for this is: fresh, healthy, unprocessed ingredients, simple preparation, delicious results. This is an unequivocal winner. Very easy prep, easily available healthy ingredients, fabulous flavor. I made it exactly according to the recipe and it was wonderful. I suspect I don't need the full 1/3 cup of olive oil, so next time I will experiment with using less. I will try 2 Tablespoons.
    Reply
  • mjwormstead
    8 MAR, 2011
    I'm trying to cook more vegetables and this was delicious and easy to prepare. Thanks Lucinda.
    Reply
  • mjwormstead
    8 MAR, 2011
    I'm trying to cook more vegetables and this was delicious and easy to prepare. Thanks Lucinda.
    Reply
  • savagemom
    20 DEC, 2010
    This recipe has very simple ingredients and even the beginner cook to do this easily. It has so much flavor and seems to go with everything. What more could you ask for in a side dish?!
    Reply
  • karenallyn
    6 DEC, 2010
    I am a beginner and I made this and it was amazing. I am a huge fan of your show, Lucinda. When you come to DC--come show me how you do it on my cable chat show!
    Reply
  • AZSunshine48
    28 NOV, 2010
    This is so easy yet so incredibly delicious! Thanks LSQ for this wonderful side as well as lite dinner entr?
    Reply
  • DealeontheChesapeake
    19 NOV, 2010
    Delicious. Simple with veggies/herb fresh from our late summer/fall garden. Next time, I will make some polenta to serve with this flavorful dish. Thanks again for sharing, Lucinda!
    Reply