This delicious cheesy casserole is made with the bounty from my garden. The dish includes a sunny medley of summer vegetables like eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes. It's so nice to cook with those abundant crops. -Phyllis Hickey, Bedford, New Hampshire
- 2 pounds eggplant, peeled
- 5 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup minced fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Cut eggplant into 1/2-in. thick slices; sprinkle both sides with 3 teaspoons salt. Place in a deep dish; cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water; drain and dry on paper towels.
- Cut eggplant into 1/2-in. cubes. Transfer to a large skillet; saute in oil until lightly browned. Add onions and zucchini; cook 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the tomatoes, celery, parsley, basil, pepper and remaining salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in Romano cheese.
- Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Combine crumbs and butter; sprinkle on top. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Garden Casserole in Taste of Home June/July 1995, p37
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