Friday, July 19, 2013

Greek-Style Vegetable Casserole

Hey, kids: wanna see a magic trick?
You see before you a perfectly ordinary set of wholesome and not particularly exciting ingredients. I'd like a member of the audience to confirm that these are, in fact, regular, blechy, ho-hum vegetables.
I shall now, in just a few simple steps, change these humdrum, mother-made-me-eat-these ingredients into a side dish to write home about.
First, I shall transform raw zucchini and red onion into something tender, sweet, and charred.

 For my next trick, I will, with the help of canned tomatoes, turn green beans and potatoes into something not just potentially appetizing, but visually appealing as well.
Looking tasty already and I'm not even done yet.

And finally, the piece de resistance.
Transformatus Delicioso!
 Nothing up my sleeve. Presto!
 Eat your heart out, Harry Potter.

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week.
Okay, okay-- it's not magic. It's dill. Dill, combined with the wondrous effects of a hot oven and a little bit of time, infuses the vegetables with a perky, piquant liveliness that steals the show. Feta is an accent rather than a main player, and that's fine with me. Too much, I think, would overwhelm what is already a richly flavorful dish.

Recipe: Greek-Style Vegetable Casserole

From Bon Appetit


1 zucchini (about 8 ounces), cut crosswise into four sections, then lengthwise into quarters
1 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1 14-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes, cut into quarters, juices reserved
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (I used 1/2 tablespoon dried dill, since that's what I had)                                            
1/4 cup crumbled feta


Preheat oven to 450°. Place zucchini, onion, and 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Season with salt. Transfer to a large baking dish (9x13" or larger) and roast until zucchini is slightly dried and beginning to turn brown, 12–15 minutes. Transfer zucchini and onion to a wire rack.
Meanwhile, toss remaining 3 Tbsp. oil, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes with their juices, garlic, lemon juice, and oregano in a medium bowl. Season with salt. Place mixture in same baking dish; top with roasted zucchini and onion. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and stir vegetables; bake until pan is nearly dry and potatoes are tender and beginning to brown, 25–35 minutes longer.

Sprinkle dill over and let casserole sit for 10 minutes. Garnish with feta and serve. (Don't forget to check for seasoning!)

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