This recipe is a lesson in patience, and it is absolutely worthwhile. Pick up a couple cold bottles of white wine, invite your closest friends, and start chopping. It’s time for Summer Veggie Bake therapy.
My sweet friend Mayme taught me this recipe over five years ago. At that point in my life, I only barely understood the value of patience, and was totally unable to exercise patience without support from others. I remember waiting in frustration for the onions to caramelize, and then anxiously again for the veggies to bake. 2 hours just seemed like a ridiculous amount of time to spend on dinner. But in the meantime we told stories, played card games, and had a beautiful evening. When the dish was finally done it tasted like heaven. Summer Veggie Bake has lessons to teach. Check it out.
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 large sweet onions
- 3 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 tsp. paprika
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 or 5 zucchini
- 3 or 4 large tomatoes
- A ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2/3 cup roughly chopped basil
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop the onions and place them in a large sauté pan with the butter, olive oil, rosemary and a little salt to caramelize. This takes about 45 minutes. You can start the onions on medium-high heat to get them going, but be sure to turn them down to low after about five minutes. Stir occasionally.
Toast the breadcrumbs in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic. Mix the caramelized onions with toasted breadcrumbs, chopped garlic, paprika, and Parmesan cheese. Add more olive oil if the mixture seems overly dry.
In a deep baking dish, layer zucchini, tomatoes, and sliced fresh mozzarella. You can really add or substitute with any veggies that roast well. Sprinkle each layer of mozzarella with basil, olive oil, and a generous amount of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Top the layers of veggies and mozzarella with bread-parm-onion mixture. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes on 350 degrees.