There should be a photo of this delicious dish at the top of this post, but at the moment I can’t find my camera! In my never ending quest to tidy up and put things away, I’ve stashed my camera somewhere that I’ve yet to discover. What’s even worse is that the pictures of this veggie side dish are on the camera!
The recipe comes from the magazine Tastes of Italia which J. brought home for me the other day. I’m surprised that I never picked up this publication before, but I’m happy to have this edition because there’s quite a few things that I’m going to try.
We love fresh fennel and so I was immediately drawn to this recipe. It’s not really what I would call a “casserole” but more of a layered vegetable dish. After making it and enjoying it with breaded chicken cutlets, I decided that it reminds me of ratatouille with fennel thrown in. I am happy to say that we have leftovers and as I write this, they’re in the oven while I wait for the grill to heat up so I can cook some steaks.
Eggplant, Zucchini and Fennel Casserole
2 small eggplants
4 small zucchini
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Italian green peppers, cored and sliced into strips
1 fresh fennel bulb, sliced fine, fronds chopped
2 cups canned plum tomatoes, drained and cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Wash and dry the eggplants. Cut off stems and discard, but do not peel. Cut into thin slices. Wash and dry the zucchini. Cut off stems and slice zucchini thinly.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons oil and saute the eggplant slices. Repeat with the zucchini and set aside. Add more oil and saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add peppers, fennel, tomatoes and basil and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
In an ovenproof dish arrange a layer of eggplant, then zucchini. Add some of the tomato mixture season with salt and pepper. Repeat layering until all the ingredients are used. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
I added a few dollops of ricotta cheese to each layer-delicious!