This Summer Vegetable Bake is currently my favourite way to eat vegetables. Typically I’m not one for salads, unless they are fancy, but I am definitely here for cooked veggies. Because unless they are fresh from the garden, cooked vegetables taste sooooo much better. At least to me (Nicole) they do. The chance for the vegetables to mingle and create this beautiful dish is what it’s all about. And we could all use more veggies in our diet!!
If you’re on the crunchy vegetable train, don’t worry, these aren’t cooked to mush. We left them with a delightful crunch because we like a bit of texture. Soft gooey cheese, crunchy AND soft vegetables, fresh herbs…it’s fantastic. If you don’t like crunchy veg though, just cook a little while longer, easy peasy! This dish is almost like a ratatouille, but without the eggplant and with the addition of some cheese on top, for extra flavour and well…cheese. But it will still tastes delicious without it! So if you are vegan or lactose intolerant, don’t pass this up solely for that reason.
Apart from the chopping of the vegetables, this dish is fairly quick to come together. I used a food processor to help cut down the prep time the second time I made this, but it’s definitely not necessary. There is a bit of liquid at the bottom of the dish when the vegetables cook. To reduce the amount, we salted the zucchini to draw out some liquid, seeded the tomatoes, and let our mozzarella drain and blotted it dry before using. If you want to further reduce liquid, you could sauté the mushrooms, but we didn’t want to dirty another pan. Up to you, know your preferences! We hope you enjoy as much as we did, let us know what you think!
Summer Vegetable Bake
This vegetable bake highlights the sweet and savoury flavours that only the best of summer's bounty can provide.
- 3 large zucchini
- 947 g mixed cherry tomatoes
- 1 large sweet bell pepper
- 227 g mushrooms
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano, sliced
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 200 g cocktail sized bocconcini cheese (or a ball of mozzarella)
- 1 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375F. Add two tbsp olive oil to a 9x13 inch dish. Chop zucchini into 1 cm cubes and place in a colander, salt generously, and leave to drain while preparing remaining ingredients. Most of the salt will drain off zucchini with the water. Place bocconcini in a small mesh strainer set over a bowl.
Prepare remaining ingredients in food processor one at a time, starting with the mushrooms, then onion, then tomatoes, straining the liquid from the tomatoes before adding to the baking dish.
Once you've prepared all the vegetables, squeeze the liquid from the zucchini using a dish towel, then add them to the baking dish. Add remaining ingredients, except for the cheese, to the dish, stir together and bake for 15 minutes. Add cheese to the top and bake for 15 more minutes before removing from the oven.