Another opportunity to use Summer's vegetable bounty. The perfect vegetarian dish that takes a little time and attention to prep, but results in a stunning presentation.
2 shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 oz. tomato puree
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (Italian or Chinese)
1 medium zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 long red bell pepper
a few thyme sprigs
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine the shallots, garlic, tomato puree, oregano, red pepper flakes and 1 T. of the olive oil. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Pour tomato mixture into an oval baking dish at least 10 inches long.
Trim the ends of the eggplant, zucchini and squash. Remove the top of the bell pepper and remove the core and seeds.
Using a mandoline (or a VERY sharp knife) cut the vegetables into very thin slices (1/16th inch).
On top of the tomato sauce, carefully arrange the slices of the vegetables from the outer edge to the center of the baking dish, overlapping the slices so that you have an attractive pattern.
Drizzle the remaining 1 T. olive oil over the vegetables and season them with salt and pepper. Remove the thyme leaves from the stems and scatter them over the top.
Cut a sheet of parchment paper to cover the vegetables and bake for 45-50 minutes, removing the parchment during the last 5 minutes or so of cooking. The tomato sauce will have bubbled up through the vegetables while cooking.
I promise the aroma from your kitchen will have everyone ready to eat by the time this is taken from the oven. A little goat cheese crumbled on top is a great addition. It will melt down onto the vegetables and tomato sauce and bring this dish to an entirely different level.