Layered Vegetables with cream

IMG_8590 1/2 of 1 butternut squash (pumpkin)

1 med or 2 small zucchini

2 C fresh baby leaf spinach

12-15 fresh basil leaves, or can substitute 1-2 tsp dried basil

1 T roasted red capsicum, optional

½ med eggplant

200-300ml (about 1 C) cream

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

1 1/2 C cheddar cheese, grated

salt and pepper

Before starting to prepare veggies, add the minced garlic to the cream.

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)

IMG_8640Peel veggies where appropriate (not the zucchini or eggplant).  Slice very thinly on a mandolin or by hand. Butter a large casserole dish (~ 4 litre size) that has a lid.  Layer the vegies, one slice thick and every two layers, sprinkle with the cream mixture and the grated cheese, saving enough for the top.  Somewhere about a third of the way through add a layer of basil and then again about 2/3 of the way through the layering add the rest.  Use several layers of eggplant, butternut squash (pumpkin), and zucchini, but only one layer of things like the capsicum, unless you like more of them.  It’s very flexible.  Finish the casserole with the remaining cream and cheese on top.  With the lid on the casserole bake for about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.  You want to make sure everything is cooked thoroughly to develop the flavours.IMG_8546

This is a delicious side dish with just about anything as it has a mild but very nice flavour.  The cheese, cream, garlic and basil make a sauce that defies the simplicity of ingredients.

Yield: ~ 6-8 servings

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