So I had this huge amount of sliced zucchini because someone (me) didn’t know how many sliced zucchini necessary to make two pans of zucchini lasagna. I hated to throw them out so I went searching for meal dishes to use them. This rustic bake (rustic usually means “leave the potato skins on” in my castle) was ideal for my abundance of thinly sliced zucchini.
The zucchini was supposed to be thickly sliced to prevent it from totally mushing out but too late, the slicing was done. We’d be fine with soft slices. I made many other modifications which I noted on the recipe. You are free to make your own.
I mixed the baking soda and seasonings in a smaller bowl and set them aside. I was curious to see how the baking soda worked. The blogger claimed it cut the acid in the dish and I found that interesting. I hadn’t noticed just a single can of tomatoes being overly acidic in the past. Shrug. We’ll see.
I added my quartered onions and diced pepper to the Dutch oven. I used pepper I had diced and frozen when we had an abundance in the fridge. Freezing diced pepper, onion or celery is handy for times like this when the pepper doesn’t need to be crisp.
One of my major additions was some sliced Italian sausage. I’d fried them whole (they were brat-sized) in a skillet until they were lightly browned then sliced them up. I set them aside with the corn. They only needed to be heated through at the end with the beans.
At 40 minutes I folded in the cannellini beans some corn and the sausage, put some halved cherry tomatoes on top and replaced the lid. I let the vegetables bake another 20 minutes then tested the potatoes to see if they were done. Yes, they were perfectly fork tender. I removed the Dutch oven from the oven and set the lid halfway off.
This was an amazing dish. The vegetables were seasoned very nicely; nothing stood out to annoy me as rosemary sometimes does. The broth had served to keep the vegetables moist and made up for the lack of any oil in the recipe. It was almost stew-like in consistency.
Well done! Happy with the meal and the creative use of mucho leftover sliced zucchini!
Rustic Italian Vegetable Bake with Sausage
Easy to make and brimming with feel good ingredients and flavors!
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut in wedges
- 1 red bell pepper; diced
- 2 lbs. Russet potatoes, unpeeled, sliced in wedges
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into thick rounds
- 8 iz cluced mushrooms
- handful broccoli; cut into florets
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon dried ground rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (+/-)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (+/-)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 lb sausage; cooked and sliced (optional)
- 2 cups corn (I used frozen)
- Parmesan; shredded (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place the baking soda and seasonings into a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Place the vegetables, garlic and seasoning mixture unto a deep ceramic/enamel lined Dutch oven. Mix until all ingredients are evenly coated.
add tomatoes and broth. Sprinkle the top with additional sea salt and black pepper.
Cover and place Dutch oven in preheated oven and roast for 40 minutes.
After 40 minutes, remove from the oven and gently mix in the cannellini beans, corn and sausage if using. stir gently.
Cover and return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
After 20 minutes remove from the oven, remove the lid and let sit for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
Sprinkle individual portions with Parmesan and serve with freshly chopped parsley.
Tips: the baking soda is to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes in the dish.
You could cut down baking time by dicing the potatoes. This would help keep the zucchini from getting too mushy
Adapted from Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures