Here’s a wonderful way to showcase the season’s very best vegetables, which I learned in a cooking class in Tuscany a few years ago. The vegetables are topped with an incredibly flavourful pangrattato – literally translated, it means “breadcrumbs”, but that simplistic definition does not do it justice! This version of this delicious meal includes my favourite vegetables, but you can change them to suit the season and your tastes – just be sure to cut them so they are all done at the same time.
I serve this at room temperature with a glass of Chianti and a hunk of crusty bread. It goes excellently with pasta or grilled polenta, too.
Serves 4 – 8 (main or side)
Preparation time: about 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 45 minutes
1 large eggplant (aubergine)
2 large zucchini (courgette)
2 red bell peppers (capsicum)
250g (about 1/2 lb) cherry tomatoes
1/2 jar quartered artichoke hearts (about 12 pieces)
10 black olives, minced
8 capers, minced
generous handful fresh herbs, minced (e.g. basil, parsley, oregano, sage, thyme)
zest of 1 organic lemon
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan (omit for vegan)
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs (or toasted fresh breadcrumbs)
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 210°C / 410°F / Gas Mark 6 and generously oil a large rimmed baking tray.
Slice the eggplant, zucchini and peppers into circles or strips as desired and spread all the vegetables and artichokes on the baking tray.
Mix all the pangrattato ingredients together, sprinkle evenly over vegetables and drizzle generously with olive oil.
Roast for about 45 minutes, until vegetables are soft.
Serve warm or at room temperature.