One of the difficult things about food blogging is that sometimes I make a super-fantastic dish like this roasted eggplant & zucchini casserole… but it’s 6pm, dark outside and my family is clamouring for dinner. And then look what happens to it…
I never intended to blog this casserole; in fact, it’s a brand new recipe. But it was sooooo good (and so easy!) I wanted you to have it pronto! So if you’ll take the already-dug-into pictures as a sign of how much we enjoyed it, then we’re in business.
This casserole is reminiscent of the deep, rich flavours of ratatouille, except without the bell peppers & onions. I roasted the eggplant & zucchini first, tossed with my seasoning mix that goes on the seasoned oven fries and kale chips. Once roasted, the veggies were dumped into a casserole dish, covered with marinara (I used homemade, made while the veggies were roasting… but feel free to use your favourite jarred sauce), sprinkled with even more seasoning mix and some grated fresh parmesan over all, and baked. If you want to keep it vegan, just skip the parmesan. I baked it just enough to bubble the sauce and brown the cheese, and the whole thing took me about an hour. Not bad for a baked casserole!
Rich tomato-ey sauce… tender caramelised veggies… all covered with crunchy, cheesy seasoning… well, it’s no wonder I didn’t bother to take a picture before we dug in! We ate it with pasta, but it would also be fabulous (and gluten-free!) with quinoa or millet. There was just enough left over for lunch for me and Mark today, and I have to say it was pretty good cold as well.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes a half-eaten picture is worth 10,000…
Roasted Eggplant & Zucchini Casserole
Note the prep time includes salting the veggies
- 3 medium zucchini, cut into 1.5 cm cubes
- 3 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1.5 cm cubes (if using globe eggplant, use 1 medium)
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1-2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 jar marinara sauce (or about 1 3/4 cups homemade marinara)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan (optional)
For the seasoning mix:
- 2 T. raw or roasted sunflower seeds
- 2 T. roasted cashews
- 2 T. almond meal
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ t. garlic powder
- ¼ t. each salt & black pepper
- 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
- Toss the eggplant & zucchini cubes with salt; set aside for 20-30 minutes to let the salt draw out excess moisture.
- Rinse the veggies and dry well on a kitchen towel.
- Preheat the oven to 220C (450 F.) Spray a shallow baking tray and a 2L (2 qt) casserole dish with non-stick spray.
- Toss the veggies with olive oil and about 1/4 cup of the seasoning mix. Spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 20-25 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and turn into prepared casserole dish. Pour over marinara sauce, then evenly distribute about 1/2 cup seasoning mix over the top.
- If using parmesan cheese, sprinkle evenly over the top of seasoning mix.
- Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is browned. If not using the cheese, the seasoning mix will also turn a golden colour.
- Remove from oven, let stand 5-10 minutes, then serve warm.