I know I am not alone in this, but I sometimes go a little overboard at the farmer's market. Everything looks so good, and I buy too much. Then, a few days later I'm doing a mad scramble in the kitchen concocting dishes to use up our goodies before they aren't so good.
This happens to people who have their own gardens, too. Wes, I'm talking to you. I really like garden gifts, but I understand that sometimes you can't accept any more tomatoes.
This casserole is just my latest attempt to enjoy all the local produce that I can. You can easily modify this recipe to use up what you have on hand. Plus, the effort is basically chopping vegetables, so you can still enjoy the last bit of nice weather.
Farmer's Market Casserole
Serves 4 to 6
2 potatoes, parboiled, then peeled and sliced thinly
2 very small and onion Vidalia onions, sliced thinly
garlic, minced, to taste
2 tomatoes, sliced
fresh basil leaves, to taste
2 zucchini, peeled and sliced
olive oil for greasing and drizzling
salt and pepper, to taste
3 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
I rubbed the inside of a 9 x 9 baking dish with olive oil and layered the bottom with the potato slices. I lightly drizzled the layers with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper.
Then, I added the onion slices and sprinkled a bit of minced garlic across the top.
I added tomato slices next and laid whole basil leaves on top of the tomatoes. I was generous with the basil because we have so much. Other herbs would be nice, so use what you like.
Zucchini was the next layer, and I also drizzled this with olive oil and added a bit more salt and pepper.
I finished with another layer of tomato slices.
And no casserole of mine is complete if it isn't topped it off with cheese. We had some Mexican queso fresco that I wanted to use up, but other cheeses would be great here, too.
I covered it with foil and placed the casserole in a 350 degree F oven for about half an hour. If you want to finish cooking now, remove the foil, raise the temperature to 425 degree F, and bake for another 25 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and it is nicely browned on top.
If you want to serve the casserole later, remove from oven, and let it cool. Then, leaving it covered with foil, keep in refrigerator until ready to finish cooking. When you are ready, pop it the preheated 350 degree oven, still covered in foil. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F, and bake for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and it is nicely browned on top.
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