cheesy zucchini-eggplant bake

Serve this with crusty bread!

slightly adapted from Bon Appétit.

ingredients

  • 1 large globe eggplant, cut into ½”-thick slices
  • 2 large zucchini and/or summer squash, cut into ½”-thick slices
  • 24 ounces cherry and/or grape tomatoes
  • 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces fresh ricotta (about 1 cup)
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces salted low-moisture mozzarella, grated, divided
  • 1 cup basil leaves, divided

method

  1. Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450°F. 
  2. Place zucchini in a large bowl and add 4 Tbsp olive oil; toss to coat. Add the eggplant slices to the oily squash and toss again.
  3. Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, then fit as many pieces of zucchini as possible on same baking sheet, tucking into spaces around eggplant. Place remaining zucchini slices on one half of another rimmed baking sheet, arranging as close together as possible and in a single layer.
  4. In the empty zucchini/eggplant bowl, toss the tomatoes, garlic, and 1 Tbsp oil to coat. On empty side of baking sheet, arrange the oily tomatoes and garlic.
  5. Place sheet with eggplant on lower rack and sheet with tomatoes on upper rack and roast until eggplant is deeply browned on the underside and tomatoes are lightly blistered, 15–25 minutes.
  6. Remove both baking sheets from oven. On baking sheet with eggplant, slide a flexible metal spatula underneath ALL slices and turn them over. Slide rounds over to one side, then transfer zucchini from sheet with tomatoes onto sheet with eggplant, turning them over in the process. You should end up with tomatoes and garlic on one baking sheet, and eggplant and zucchini on the other.
  7. Let baking sheet with tomatoes cool, but return baking sheet with eggplant and zucchini to lower rack and roast until second side of eggplant is deeply browned, 10–15 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
  8. Meanwhile, combine 8 oz. ricotta, ¾ tsp. red pepper flakes, and 6 oz. mozzarella in a medium bowl. Drizzle with oil and mix with a fork to combine; season lightly with salt.
  9. Using a fork, remove garlic cloves from baking sheet and transfer to a cutting board. Press on skins to force out the soft, caramelized cloves; discard skins. Mash cloves to a paste with fork, then stir into ricotta mixture.
  10. Drizzle some oil into a shallow 2-qt. baking dish. Arrange one-third of zucchini and eggplant slices in a single layer. Scatter one-third of blistered tomatoes over, then dollop half of ricotta mixture over tomatoes. Tear one-third of basil leaves and scatter over ricotta.
  11. Repeat layering process with half of remaining eggplant and zucchini, all of remaining ricotta mixture, and half of remaining tomatoes and basil. Top with remaining eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes. Sprinkle remaining 2 oz. mozzarella over and bake until mozzarella is melted and browned in spots and liquid around the edges is bubbling, 15–20 minutes.
  12. Let rest 10 minutes, then top with remaining basil. Drizzle with a little more oil before serving.

serves about 6.

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