This is a classic provençal dish. It’s very simple but what makes it so delicious is the full wholesome flavors of these vegetables slowly roasting in the oven with a good extra virgin olive oil. It always amazes me what a hit this always is with my guests!! It can be served either at room temperature or hot, so it is perfect for all seasons. It is a sure crowd pleaser for a buffet table, because it is so versatile and can serve as a lovely vegetarian side dish to any main entrée!
- 2 medium white onions peeled and finely sliced
- 2 medium eggplants rinsed and sliced equally
- 2 medium zucchini rinsed and sliced equally
- 3 ripe Italian Heirloom tomatoes rinsed and sliced equally
- 1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp + 3/4 tsp coarse salt
- 1 large slice of dry whole grain bread to make crumbs-optional
- Fresh ground pepper
- Fresh basil to taste
- Fresh thyme optional for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 F
- Sautee the onions in 2 Tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp salt for 2-3 minutes (The onions should be translucent but not browned at this point).
- Place in one layer at the bottom of a shallow rectangular baking dish.
- Place the sliced eggplant in a row (standing), then the zucchini, then the tomatoes and
- continue in this alternating pattern until all the vegetables are lined up on top of the onions.
- You can also arrange in flat layers on top of the browned onions, starting with the sliced zucchini, then the sliced eggplant and last the sliced tomato, so you can serve each little pile individually, tapas style (see photo below).
- Using a pastry brush (or a squeeze bottle), spread the remaining olive oil (1/3 cup) on all the vegetables.
- Top with remaining Salt (3/4 tsp) and pepper to taste.
- Place the baking pan, uncovered in preheated oven.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the veggies look nicely roasted, until almost caramelized.
- Optional: Take out of the oven and, using a hand-held flat coarse grater, grate the dry bread over the top to form a thin layer over the vegetables, and place back in the oven for a few minutes to brown.
- Serve hot or at room temperature with fresh basil and thyme.