Excerpted from “Dinner parties: The warming trend”, by MARION KANE, originally published in the Toronto Star, 1 April 2006
I’ve often experimented with this tasty Provençal dish and recently came up
with this version. Roasting the veggies before baking them with tomatoes
the yummy flavour of caramelization.
You can do the roasting ahead of time, then pop the assembled dish into the
oven. I vary the veggies according to season and use ripe fresh tomatoes in
summer instead of canned.
The cauliflower is not authentic but I like it for texture; fresh fennel and
mushrooms would be nice in this. The goat cheese topping adds terrific tang.
By “big chunks” I mean about 1-1/2 inch or 4 cm in size. Don’t go smaller or
the veggies will go mushy.
1/3 cup olive oil
1 eggplant, cut in big chunks
3 zucchini, cut in big chunks
1 red onion, peeled, cut in big chunks
1 sweet red pepper, cut in big pieces
1 sweet yellow pepper, cut in big pieces
2 cups cauliflower florets
8 garlic cloves, peeled
Salt + freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
28-oz (796-mL) can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, oregano or herbes de provence, or 1 tsp dried
About 3/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese, e.g. Woolwich Dairy
Preheat oven to 400F.
In large bowl, combine olive oil, eggplant, zucchini, onion, peppers,
cauliflower and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss. Spread in
on non-stick baking sheet(s). Place rosemary sprigs on top. Roast about 25
minutes or until browned. Remove rosemary.
Reduce oven temperature to 350F.
Combine tomatoes and thyme in bowl. Spoon about one-third into deep
earthenware or other ovenproof baking dish. Add roasted vegetables. Spoon
tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Bake about 25 to 30 minutes or
until heated through and goat cheese is nicely browned.
(You can place under broiler for a few minutes for extra browning.)
Makes about 6 to 8 servings.