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Ratatouille, casserole, salad ... the secret is blending vegetables.

In the same way you blend herbs and spices for seasoning, you can mix various vegetables to get specific flavor effects, as in tbese three dishes. The baked ratatouille is a mellow blending of four vegetables with just a whisper of oil. Corn, chilies, and bell peppers balance each other in the oven casserole. Bold cauliflower complements mild zucchini in a salad; they share a garbanzo dressing.

Oven Ratatouille

1 small (about 1 lb.) eggplant

4 medium-size zucchini (about 1 lb. total)

1 1/2 pounds firm-ripe Roma-style tomatoes

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup finely chopped fresh or 1/2 cup dry basil leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Trim ends off eggplant and zucchini. Cut eggplant in 1/2- by 2-inch sticks; cut zucchini in 1/2-inch slices. Core and quarter tomatoes. Mix vegetables, onion, basil, and oil in a deep 3- to 4-quart baking dish. Cover dish tightly and bake in a 400[deg] oven for 2 hours. Uncover and bake until eggplant is creamy to bite and juices are reduced by about 2/3, about 20 minutes; baste vegetables occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled; if made ahead, cover and chill up to I week. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Per serving: 68 caL; 2. 8 g protein; 2 g fat, 12 g carbo.; 12 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

High-desert Corn Casserole

5 fresh jalapeno or serrano chilies

2 tablespoons salad oil

1 medium-size onion, chopped

1 medium-size red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced

4 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels

1 cup small-curd cottage cheese

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Salt and pepper

1 cup(4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

Stem, seed, and chop 3 of the chilies. Put in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan with salad oil, onion, and bell pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onion is limp and pepper is tender to bite; add 2 cups of corn and stir until hot.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine remaining 2 cups corn, cottage cheese, eggs, and cornstarch; puree until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Remove cooked vegetables from heat and stir the pureed mixture into them; season to taste with salt and pepper. Scrape into a shallow 10-inch round or oval baking dish or pan. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over vegetables. (If made ahead, cover and chill up to overnight.)

Bake in a 375[deg] oven until mixture puffs in center and cheese begins to brown at edges, about 30 minutes. Garnish with whole chilies. Serves 8.-Sandra Atkinson, San Ramon, Calif,

Per serving: 214 caL; 11 g protein; 12 g fat, 19 g carbo.; 224 mg sodium; 87 mg chol.

Cauliflower and Zucchini with Tahini

1 medium-size (about 1 lb.) cauliflower

4 medium-size zucchini (1 lb. total)

Tahini sauce (recipe follows)

Parsley sprigs

Lemon slices


Break cauliflowerets from core; discard core and leaves. Trim zucchini ends and discard. Cut zucchini into 1/2-inch slices. In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, bring 3 quarts water to boiling. Add cauliflowerets; cook, uncovered, until tender when pierced, 6 to 8 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon, drain, and put on a platter.

Add zucchini to boiling water and cook, uncovered, until tender when pierced, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain and immerse in cold water until cool; drain and put on platter with cauliflower. If made ahead, cover and chill up to overnight; drain off any liquid that accumulates on platter. Serve vegetables at room temperature.

Pour tahini sauce over vegetables. Garnish with parsley and lemon; add salt to taste. Makes 8 servings. -Katy El Tawil San Mateo, Calif.

Per serving: 152 cal,; 5.8 g protein; 9 g fat; 15 g carbo.; 124 mg sodium; 1.8 mg chol.

Tahini sauce. Drain and reserve liquid from 1 Can (83/4 oz.) garbanzos. In a blender, whirl beans, 1/2 cup each unflavored yogurt and lemon juice, 1/2 cup canned tahini, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and I clove garlic until smoothly pursed. Add a little bean liquid to make sauce pourable; add salt and pepper to taste. Serve, or cover the sauce and chill it up to 1 week; stir before using.
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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Jun 1, 1989
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