roasted vegetable stacks with goat cheese

roasted veggie stacks with goat cheeseI am in veggie heaven with these roasted vegetable stacks and in one recipe I get the daily recommended servings of vegetables; my kind of dish.  Although the end of Summer means goodbye to warmer days (sigh), its departure signals the bounty of the harvest (yay!).  It’s the perfect time of the year to grab all the locally grown goodies from markets and farmers roadside stands.  The produce is so fresh you need little in the way of seasoning.  For this recipe, the key to making the vegetables stack on top of each other is size.  If they’re all similar in size, the balance will help the stacks stay upright and not slide off plus it’ll make it easier to cook and to serve.  Don’t worry if the stacks fall over when cooking. Just reassemble for presentation and no one will ever know the difference! If there’s any juice on the baking tray, use that to drizzle over the vegetable stacks.

Serves 2 to 4
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 eggplant cut into four slices
1 orange bell pepper, quartered and deseeded
1 red onion cut into four slices
goat’s cheese
1 tomato cut into four slices
1 zucchini cut into 1/4″ slices
handful pine nuts (lightly toasted, optional)

Preheat oven to 200c (400f). Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, and oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Place eggplant and red bell pepper on a baking tray and drizzle with one-quarter of the lemon mixture. Toss to coat and bake 15 minutes or until tender.

Lightly brush a baking tray with olive oil.  Place a slice of red onion on the tray and evenly smear goat cheese over (like you would peanut butter).  Add tomato, zucchini, eggplant and red bell pepper. Drizzle with lemon mixture.  Lightly press down on the stack to secure – you can use a toothpick but not necessary.  Repeat process for other stacks. Bake 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove vegetable stacks and place on a plate. Scatter pine nuts and top with goat’s cheese. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:   I found serving this dish at room temperature enhanced the flavors of the vegetables. Enjoy!