Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole
Casseruola di Melanzane e Zucchini Grilliata (4 votes)
1 large eggplant
Slice the eggplant vertically into 1/4 inch slices. Place the eggplant in a large colander, salting each layer. Let drain for at least an hour. (this is easiest done by placing the colander in the sink)
1 medium zucchini
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 28-ounce can tomatoes, San Marzano or Roma
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2/3 cup Parmesan or Pecorino Pepate cheese,grated or flakes
While the eggplants are being salted, slice the zucchini in the same manner. Either long dark green or light green zucchini may be used. If they are available, round zucchini may be substitutes. We have made this dish with a mixture of all of them.
After an hour rinse the eggplants thoroughly and pat as dry as possible. Place all of the zucchini and the eggplant into a large bowl and add 1/2 of the olive oil, all of the Balsamic vinegar, and the oregano. Mix well and let the mixture marinate for 40-50 minutes.
Empty the can of tomatoes into a bowl and chop them into fairly large pieces. Add the garlic, half of the remaining olive oil and mix. Let this sit until the dish is assembled.
Meanwhile, grill the eggplant and zucchini slices. This is best accomplished on an outdoor barbecue. If non is available they can be broiled in the oven, but the smoky taste will be missing from the dish. They should be grilled (or broiled) to the point where grill marks show on both sides. Gently remove from the grill and place on a platter to cool.
Oil the bottom of two 6 x 9 inch casserole pans with the remaining olive oil, then add 3-4 tablespoons of the tomato mixture. Onto this place a layer of eggplant. Sauce the eggplant, then add a layer of zucchini. Repeat this procedure, alternating the vegetables until the casserole pan is almost full. Prior to adding the last layer of either zucchini or eggplant, add 3-4 tablespoons of the Parmesan or Pecorino Pepate cheese. Add the last layer and cover this with the tomato sauce. Do this to both casseroles.
If eating both immediately, bake them at 375º for 30 minutes, then turn the heat to 475º and bake for an additional 5-6 minutes. Serve warm.
If one of the casseroles is to be frozen, wrap it carefully in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Place the casserole into a zip lock bag and then freeze it. Prior to eating let it thaw completely and come to room temperature. Bake at 375º for 30 minutes then at 475º for an additional 5-6 minutes.
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