April 5 2020
Every once in a while, it's very nice to enjoy a meatless meal, especially at lunch time. But, I still want a filling, somewhat hearty dish that doesn't leave me wishing I had eaten that burger!
And along came this recipe...
Layering thin slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red bell peppers and roasting them has created the perfect filling for this submarine sandwich. And, if you're not into bread (really? seriously? who are you????), eating it as a side dish or as an omelette filling is perfectly acceptable!
I used a mandoline to get very thin slices, but a sharp knife works as well. Try to cut the slices about 1/16"-thick to get the best results.
(Recipe from Smitten Kitchen)
Serves 6-8, when cut into 2-inch sandwiches
Active Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
1 long, thin eggplant, such as a Japanese variety
1 long, thin zucchini
1 long, thin yellow squash
1 to 2 red bell peppers, long and narrow if you can find them
1/2 small yellow onion
1 cup tomato purée (such as Pomi) or canned tomato sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
Red pepper flakes or piment d’Espelette
1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme
2 8-inch sub rolls, or the equivalent length of baguettes
Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare the vegetables: Trim the ends from the eggplant, zucchini, and squash, and, with a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer, or very sharp knife, slice them into pieces approximately 1/16-inch thick. As carefully as you can, trim the ends of the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the flesh intact, like a tube. Thinly slice crosswise. Thinly slice the onion as well.
Spread the tomato puree into a large baking dish. Stir in the onion slices, minced garlic, 1 tbsp of the olive oil, a few pinches of salt, and a pinch of pepper flakes. Arrange the slices of aubergine, courgette, yellow summer squash, and red pepper so that they overlap, with just a smidgen of each flat surface visible. The pepper will give you the most trouble, because it's probably bigger in diameter than the other vegetables, but whether it fans prettily or not, it will bake nicely. You might not need all of your vegetables.
Drizzle remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the vegetables, and sprinkle with thyme. Cover dish with foil, and bake for 45 minutes, until vegetables are almost completely fork-tender.
Meanwhile, split your sub rolls. Once the 45 minutes are up, increase oven setting to 425°F, remove foil from the baking dish, and bake, uncovered, 15 minutes more. On the other rack, place your sub rolls on a tray to roast for 5 to 10 minutes.
A long, thin angled spatula, like a palette knife, is best for serving here. Carefully slide it under one section of the fanned vegetables, and slide it onto the bottom half of a toasted roll. Keep adding sections until you have covered the bread, and then repeat this so you have a second layer of fanned vegetables. Scoop up any oniony sauce that was left beneath the vegetables, and lay it over the sub. Close each sub with the top half of the roll, cut into manageable lengths to eat, and serve.
This goes great with soft goat cheese, which can be spread on either side of your toasted roll before adding the ratatouille. You could also forgo the baguette entirely, and serve this over polenta, couscous or another grain. Wonderful as an omelette filling!
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
If so, take a quick photo of it & tag @thefancypantskitchen on Instagram.
I’d love to see your pics!