Roasted Vegetable Goat Cheese Gratin
This is a delicious, easy take on the Provencal dish called ratatouille. Roasting the veggies before baking them with tomatoes adds the yummy flavour of caramelization. You can do the roasting ahead of time, then pop the assembled dish in 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 1½-inch/2 cm in size – don’t go smaller or the veggies will go mushy.
⅓ cup olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut in big chunks
3 medium zucchini, cut in big chunks
1 medium 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 and 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 ¾ 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 single layer on non-stick baking sheet(s). Place rosemary sprigs on top. Roast about 25 minutes or until browned. Remove rosemary sprigs.
Reduce oven temperature to 350F.
Combine tomatoes and thyme in bowl. Spoon about one-third in deep earthenware or other ovenproof baking dish. Add roasted vegetables. Spoon remaining 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.