Thursday, 20 December 2012

Panzanella Style Vegetables

NAME: _Panzanella Style Vegetables

INGREDIENTS/UTENSILS:
Around 12 Roma tomatoes (depends on your baking dish)
1 - 2 beetroot, uncooked
1 - 2 large red onions
1 red capsicum
1 - 2 tbsp salted capers
1 - 2 tbsp fine chopped oregano
1 - 2 tbsp fine chopped basil
4 cloves garlic
1 cup olive oil
1 tbsp salt flakes
1/2 tbsp fresh ground pepper.
About 1/2 cup haloumi cheese cut into small pieces (see recipe)

METHOD:
Brush the inside of your roasting dish with olive oil, Cut the tomatoes in half, lay in baking dish cut sides up. Peel the beetroot, slice around 1cm - 1.5cm thick, and cut each slice into wedges, arrange between tomatoes. Peel the onion, slice 0.5cm - 1cm thick, cut into quarters, arrange between the vegetables in the dish. Open and seed the capsicum, cut into 1cm by around 3cm strips, and arrange between the other vegetables in the dish.

The ideal roasting dish for this is a glass one. Make sure it is small enough to well and truly crowd the vegetables together, but large enough that you can keep everything level with the tomatoes. If the level of the vegetables comes about halfway up the sides of the baking dish, that's about the perfect depth. Enamel or ceramic might work as well, a metal one would have to be quite heavy to work properly.

Wash salt from capers, sprinkle over vegetables. Sprinkle over the oregano and basil, gently crush the salt flakes and sprinkle about half over. Sprinkle about half the pepper (more or less according to taste) over.

Peel and mash the garlic, mix with about half the olive oil and drizzle over the vegetables. Place pan in an oven set to 140C and leave for around an hour to an hour and a half. (Depends - when the beetroot is somewhat softened, that's the time.)

Add haloumi cheese sliced into 0.3cm slices and cut into roughly 2cm squares. Sprinkle the cheese over. Drizzle remaining olive oil over, and return to oven at 200C for a further half hour, or until the cheese browns slightly.

SERVING:
Use remaining flake salt and ground pepper to season to taste. Serve as a main with crusty bread, or as a side to a hearty dish.

NOTES:
Slow gentle heating is the key, with a nice burst of heat at the end to brown the cheese and tops of the vegetables. It's called "panzanella style" because it's cribbed from a panzanella recipe, but the vegetables, herbs, and cheese used are my favourite variation.

ENJOY!

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