In the Midwest, our gardens are just starting to produce some veggies and the anticipation is unbelievable. (Seriously, this is the most excitement I have right now.)
I get out a couple times a day and talk to my plants. Our conversations are very one sided but fulfilling for all who are involved. I do encourage their growth with frequent water baths and a nice big scoop of cow manure. (Mmmm, who could resist that kind of treatment?)
Between what is being produced in my own garden, trips to the Farmer’s Market and what I receive each week from my CSA, my produce drawers are overflowing! I have an abundance of yellow squash, zucchini and Japanese eggplant!! The challenge was just not to grill them because I love all of these ingredients on the grill. (Plus on the day I made this it was well over 100 degrees outside and I had no desire to stand over my grill.)
So I took my lead from an Italian dish called a caponata. Traditionally made it is considered a sweet and sour relish. The sweet component came from things like raisins (not a fan unless they are singing on a TV commericial) and the sour from vinegars.
My thought was why can’t I just roast all these veggies together and let their natural, fresh flavors shine. (I also thought what ever happened to those singing raisins? They were very talented.)
I made this recipe two ways. First, I chopped the veggies and roasted them in the oven. Once fork tender, a little goat cheese was added and it was a great side dish. (Or entrée for my vegetarian friends.)
The other thing I did was put the finished product in my food processor and made it into a dip or bread spread. (It wasn’t pretty in color but it was mighty tasty!!)
Not A Caponata
(Most Caponatas have sweet elements like raisins and a crunch like pine nuts. I like the versatility of this dish better and how it lets the summer garden shine.)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce) I like to use fire-roasted in this dish.
2 zucchini (cut into circles and then make half circles or moons)*
2 yellow squash….mine were huge and I should have used one (cut exactly like the zucchini)
1 Japanese Eggplant (Diced)
1 white onion, large dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBSP olive oil
1 ½ tsp fresh oregano, chopped
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
Toasted baguette slices
- Preheat your oven to 400.
- In a large bowl, add zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, onion, garlic, oregano and olive oil.
- Mix gently and add a nice sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a 3 quart baking dish, add the canned tomatoes to the bottom of the dish.
- Pour the bowl of vegetables over the canned tomatoes and spread evenly.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. (Veggies should be fork tender. I check them at 20 minutes and then if they are not done, I continue to roast them.)
- Serve as a side dish or on top of fish. (It is great the next day on a sandwich too!)
Optional (Appetizer): When the initial baking is done, sprinkle the goat cheese over the top and broil a few minutes until cheese gets soft and gooey. Mash it all up together and serve on slices of toasted baguette.
*Peeling the veggies is up to you. I peel some strips off of each veggie so they are “striped”. You can peel them all the way or not at all. It is your call!
I really loved this recipe. It is pretty good for you and really simple!! And the best part is there is some extra room in my fridge and I didn’t waste a thing.
The spread over toasted bread, (w/ olive oil), was awesome! Had one meal where this was ALL I ate. Felt like a “vegetarian” that afternoon. Please make more!