Friday, February 15, 2008

Today's recipe: the vegetable thing

I don't know where I got this recipe - perhaps from a library book called The Occasional Vegetarian, by Karen Lee. I recall liking that book, though I've never bought a copy. It seems to me that it was called a vegetable Tien, but a quick web search indicates that's not an english, or cooking, word. So I may have that totally wrong.

BUT it's an easy recipe, and it's delicious. It's in the oven as we speak.

2 small eggplants, sliced
2 large potatoes, sliced
2 (or more) tomatoes, sliced
1 red onion, sliced

olive oil

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Generously salt the eggplant slices and leave them to drain in a colander in the sink, at least 1 hour.

2. combine one-half cup olive oil with 2 cloves pressed garlic, and let it steep on the counter while the eggplant drains.

3. Rinse the eggplant slices. Dry each one, dip it in the oil, and fry over medium-high heat in a single layer until crusty and brown. (This seems like it will never happen, but it will. Squishing a little with your spatula will help.)

4. in a large glass cassarole (I used a tempered bowl) layer the vegetables. Sprinkle clipped herbs and salt and pepper between layers. Drizzle the top with the remaining oil (or some more plain olive oil.)

I don't think it matters what order you layer the veggies in - I tend to start with potatoes on the bottom, since they're the only thing that really needs cooking.

5. Bake at 350 for more than an hour (check at 45 min - if it's browning too much, you can cover it with foil) until the potatoes are soft.

This is good hot, cold, at room temperature, and is rather better the second day. It's very filling. The one I'm cooking now has fresh herbs and a sliced red pepper, (because it was on sale, which it never is...) but I used ancient dusty McCormick herbs in the past, and it's always been fine.

This recipe, in fact, recalls my only kitchen Brush With Celebrity - I made this for Dave Wilcox in 1999. (I catered the greenroom at his Cedar Ridge show.)

No comments: