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Saturday, March 14, 2020

Recipe Round Up: Mediterranean Vegetable Casserole

Mediterranean Vegetable Casserole

This is such an easy prep meal and so delicious! It is also rather accommodating to whatever vegetables you happen to have at home. Simply put the longer cooking, tougher, vegetables in with the sauce for the first hour, and any remaining, softer vegetables in when you take the cover off for the last 25 minutes. This recipe is more like a guideline, and you should feel free to experiment with the produce you have or prefer - cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or cabbage would work in here, as would winter squash. As you can see from the photo, we make a lot of it at a time. I usually triple this amount.

4 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and chunked
1 large eggplant, cubed
1 pound rutabagas, peeled and chunked
1 pound turnips, peeled and chunked
1 pound carrots, peeled and chunked
2 shallots or 1 onion, peeled and chunked
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 5-ounce jar of kalamata olives, brine reserved
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound mini peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut in half, or an equivalent amount of sweet peppers
1 small bunch of Italian parsley, trimmed and finely chopped

Pre-heat oven to 400° F.

Put the potatoes, eggplant, rutabagas, turnips, carrots and shallots or onions in a large baking pan (or multiple) with a rim.

Simmer the garlic in the olive oil for 3 - 5 minutes, then add the lemon juice, oregano, smoked paprika, water, tomato paste, brine from the jar of olives, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to combine thoroughly over low heat and simmer about 10 minutes while preparing the peppers and parsley.

Pour the broth over the vegetables in the pan, to about a third to half their height in the pan, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for an hour.

Uncover the pans, add the olives and peppers, give them all a good stir and bake, uncovered, for another 25 - 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the parsley and serve with rice. I make the rice in the same pot as I use to make the broth, so it flavors it a little, as well, and cook it as the casserole bakes.

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