Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Casserole

Okay, so here's the deal:  I love cooking, creating, and coming up with different kinds of flavors.  If you tell me to make a pizza, it won't be your typical pizza.  If you want a cupcake recipe, I'll find one with booze, weird sweet/salty mixtures and Nutella.  That's why the casserole is such a great one-container project.  You can't screw it up.  Let me repeat myself:  YOU CAN'T SCREW IT UP.  Despite the recipe that follows, here's the basic rule of thumb:  Pick your veggies and chop them all the same size.  Put them in a big lasagna pan (standard size works the best). Drown them in olive oil, salt and pepper, top with a mixture of Italian bread crumbs, grated parmegiano reggiano cheese and toasted sesame seeds, then bake at 450 for 40 minutes.  DONE.  I kid you not, you could feed 6 people easily with this and still leave them wanting more.  You're welcome.
*it should be noted that I hate measuring while I cook... so I eyeball a lot, from EVOO to amounts of bread crumbs and cheese - cooking should be interactive and creative, not boring and scientific.

Kasey's Tomato Casserole

2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (I love redskin potatoes with skins on - YUMMO)
1 large sweet potatoes, skinned and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 medium butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch chunks (leave the skin/rind ON)
1 ruby red pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (the darker the color, the deeper the flavor)
Extra-virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt & Pepper
1 red onion, cut into 1/4 inch rings
1 medium zucchini, cut cross wise into 1/4 inch disks
2 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
A large handful of fresh parmegiano reggiano cheese, grated
A large handful of italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 a palmful toasted sesame seeds (I bought mine... no sense in wasting time or burning sesame seeds)
A bunch of fresh basil, torn into small-ish shapes

1. Turn on the oven to preheat.  Rip that sucker on to 450 degrees.  Get out your lasagna pan and have it sitting next to your cutting board.  You'll want it close by so you don't have to keep walking the ingredients over to the pan every 5 minutes.  So annoying.
2. Put the redskin potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and red pepper in the dish.  Drizzle EVOO freely over the top, then add salt and pepper.  Toss with your hands.  Don't be afraid.
3.  Layer on your onion rings, then your zucchini.  Drizzle with more EVOO, salt and pepper.  This time, don't toss.  We want to keep it pretty, kids.  PRETTY.
4. Layer on your tomatoes, add a final pass of the EVOO, s & p.
5. Get a small mixing bowl and toss together the cheese, bread crumbs and sesame seeds.  Sprinkle evenly over the top of the gleaming tomatoes and stick that mess in the oven.  Bake for 40 minutes, then let rest for 10 minutes out of the oven.  (Rob: LET IT REST)
6. Sprinkle the top with the fresh basil and serve to the diners who are salivating in the dining room.

1 comment:

  1. YUM!!! You should link up with my "linky party" I know there are a ton of ladies out there that would lOVE this!