The Last Summer Tian

Autumn in this part of Florida is a slow and rather timid affair. The temperatures have mostly dropped below 90 and mornings are in the low 70’s. There are afternoon thunderstorms every three days instead of every day. There is a subtle change to the wind, a few more cool breezes. Yesterday was 94 degrees and sultry, like autumn retreated for a day and it was late summer again, so I made a decidedly summer dish.

Summer Tian

This light casserole is excellent as a hot side dish and leftovers make a great lunch the next day with a sprinkle of goat cheese and a dollop of basil pesto.

2 medium zucchini
2 medium yellow squash
2 Asian eggplant
1/4 c olive oil
heaping tbl mixed dry Italian herbs
1/2 tsp ground rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
Good sprinkle of pepper
3 oz aged Cypress Point Creamery Magnolia or any good hard salty cheese, shredded

Turn the oven on to 350. Slice the zucchini, squash, and eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds. Combine sliced vegetables, olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss with your hands until all of the vegetables are evenly coated with oil and herbs. Take out a large baking or casserole dish, at least 9×13. Pick up 5″ stacks of the oiled vegetables in your hands and lay them down in the casserole dish, fanning them out to reach the edges. If you want a fancier presentation, you can place the slices in the dish one at a time. Once all of the vegetables are placed in the dish, sprinkle the cheese evenly over the vegetables. It should only be a light amount of cheese, not covered. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned and the vegetables are greatly reduced in volume and browned around the edges.

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