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Char-baked Tomato, Zucchini and Eggplant Casserole with Bacon

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This is a recipe I saw in the latest Eating Well magazine, and adapted to my own taste.  The picture is for a smaller casserole than the recipe, because I made the larger to take to a potluck and it all disappeared!  Even the kids liked it (maybe the bacon?).  Anyway, it's a great use of those fresh veggies we may have in our garden or farm stands now.  I served with beef empanadas and salad.

 

Char baked Tomato, Zucchini and Eggplant Casserole with Bacon

 

1/3 cup EVOO

1 onion, peeled and sliced

5-6 small tomatoes, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and pepper

1 small eggplant, about 6 inches long, thinly sliced crosswise

2 zucchini, about 5 inches long, thinly sliced lengthwise

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

4-6 slices regular thickness bacon

1/2 cup cheddar jack grated cheese

 

Preheat kamado to 400, indirect

 

Pour some olive oil in the baking dish (9 x 13).  Layer in half of the onion slices and one third of the tomatoes.  Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add a layer of eggplant and sprinkle on more salt.  Add another third of the tomatoes, the zucchini, garlic, thyme, and the remaining onions.  Top with the remaining tomatoes.  Pour over the remaining olive oil.  Season with pepper.  Lay bacon strips lengthwise to cover vegetables.  Bake uncovered until bacon is crisped and veggies are bubbling.  Sprinkle cheese on top and lower dome until melted.  Allow to cool and cut into squares.

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When I first saw this recipe, I thought it was almost blah, but when you put it all together, and the bacon drips into the veggies, it works.  I should admit that the original recipe (without bacon and cheese) said "bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.  After 45 minutes, press the mixture down firmly with a spatula.  The vegetables should be reduced in height, and should be brownish-black and caramelized, almost charred in places.  Return to the oven to finish roasting."  When I added the bacon, I had to shorten the bake time, and anyway, that sounds like the freshness of the vegetables would be lost.  But you can try it that way if you want...

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Remoh, Whidbey Island is in Washington State, almost to Canada, about 2 hours north of Seattle.  Tonight the moon is full across the water and the blue/pink mountains, just spectacular.

September's Moon (Harvest Moon) is also a super moon, (Closest distance to the Earth) spectacular. I'm a big winter squash person. I'm trying to come up with an idea for stuffed spaghetti squash. I love the texture of Spag Squash and was thinking something along the lines of Italian sweet crumble sausage. Blended white cheeses. Maybe some wilted greens, pesto, art 1/4's, black olive slices.......

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Remoh, Whidbey Island is in Washington State, almost to Canada, about 2 hours north of Seattle. Tonight the moon is full across the water and the blue/pink mountains, just spectacular.

September's Moon (Harvest Moon) is also a super moon, (Closest distance to the Earth) spectacular. I'm a big winter squash person. I'm trying to come up with an idea for stuffed spaghetti squash. I love the texture of Spag Squash and was thinking something along the lines of Italian sweet crumble sausage. Blended white cheeses. Maybe some wilted greens, pesto, art 1/4's, black olive slices.......
I have a recipe in the poultry section for stuffed eggplant with turkey sausage that would work well with squash.

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