Not a salad but one of the very best ways to enjoy a bounty of summer vegetables. I love to make this on the weekend, as it will keep for several days in the refrigerator (and flavors improve). It is usually served as an antipasto or side dish, but when I’ve had a tough day and don’t feel like cooking -there’s dinner, with bread to soak up the juices, a glass of red wine, then cheese and a piece of fresh fruit … summer heaven!
PASTICCIO DI VERDURA – CIANFOTTA (CIAMBOTTA) NAPOLETANA – TJELLA DI VERDURE
There is limitless variety to this Southern Italian vegetable dish. In Naples it would be cooked on top of the stove and called Cianfotta; in Puglia the name “Tjella” is dialect for any kind of cooking pan; in Sicily Pasticcio. It can be cooked on top of the stove like a ratatouille or baked in the oven until most of the juices have been absorbed. The vegetables may vary according to availability.
- boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
- ripe plum tomatoes, sliced
- red or yellow peppers, cored and quartered
- zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- eggplant, stemmed, cut into 1/2 inch slices, sprinkle with salt, allow to drain for about 1hr.
- onions, peeled and sliced lengthwise
- garlic, chopped
- S & P
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Lightly oil a baking dish with high sides. Layer the vegetables with half the tomatoes on the bottom and the remaining half on the top. Between the vegetable layers sprinkle with S & P, garlic, peperoncino, oregano and OO. Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for about 1-2 hrs. Remove the foil toward the end of the cooking to allow the liquid to evaporate and the top to lightly brown.
Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
- Add anchovy fillets, drained and cut into pieces and green Sicilian olives, pitted and cut into pieces.
- Substitute basil or mint for oregano.
- Top the dish with bread crumbs and a good handful of grated Pecorino Romano cheese