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Spring Vegetable Casserole

Posted on April 12 2019

This recipe has become one of my favorites to prepare for family and friends because I can improvise with what is available in my fridge. I can add different vegetables such as spinach or mushrooms, kick up the heat with additional peppers, add meat or a variety of cheeses. It’s not as complicated as it seems. A comfort dish that will satisfy in any season. It’s similar to a ratatouille, my version.

Note: I’m sharing this here on my blog at the request on social media and through friends, I did mention that I didn’t measure any of the ingredients (so I’ll do my best to estimate, but feel free to improvise as you like).

Preheat oven 400 degrees

Tools: parchment paper, 2 baking sheets, medium stock pot, casserole dish)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash- Slice spaghetti squash in half  (remove seeds) drizzle light coat of olive oil and place down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for approx 40 mins.
  • 1 large eggplant-Cut the eggplant in ½ then slice into ½ slices (soak in bowl of salt water)
  • 1 large zucchini or 2 medium zucchini- cut and quartered- lay flat both the eggplants and the zucchini onto second parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. If needed add remaining pieces onto the same try with the spaghetti squash. Bake together for approx 20 mins.
  • 1 large red bell pepper- thickly diced
  • 1 large sweet onion (Maui, Hawaiian, etc.) - thickly diced
  • Kalamata Olives pitted (approx ½ from a 12 oz jar)- cut in half
  • Giant Chalkidiki Olives pitted approx 10 olives ( any large green olives should be fine)-cut in half
  • 1 jar of grilled artichokes (slice thin)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • Course ground black pepper (fresh)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 pkg lean ground turkey (optional)
  • 3 cans of crushed tomatoes  or 1 ½ jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 cup fresh basil -ribbon sliced
  • ½ clove of fresh garlic- minced
  • 2 cups (approx) freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Good quality olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • Panko bread crumbs ( if desired only)

In stockpot, create a sauce- saute the onions until nearly transparent, add bell peppers (if adding turkey, add here now) stir until meat is no longer pink then and olives, continuing stirring, slowly add tomatoes crushed or your pasta sauce.  Add oregano, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Stir in approx ⅛ cup of olive oil. Simmer 20 mins. then turn off heat and add ½ cup of fresh basil and garlic. Save the remainder of the fresh basil to sprinkle on the top layer of your casserole.

Remove squash from the shell with a fork, begin to scrape out the squash so that it will resemble spaghetti. Remove the eggplant and zuccini from oven.  

Coat a thin layer of olive oil to the bottom and sides of your casserole dish.  Lay one layer of eggplant to cover the bottom of your casserole pan then add ½ of the scraped squash, add a row of zucchini, and spread a bit of the artichoke on, then add the sauce and ½ of the grated parmesan.  Build another layer of eggplant, spaghetti squash, zucchini, artichoke, sauce. Add the remainder of fresh basil and top with remainder of parmesan (if desired, add your bread crumb here).

Bake til bubbles around the side approx 20 mins.

Cool a bit before serving so that it sort of sticks together (it may not due to lack of gluten in this dish).

Enjoy!!!

XOXO

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