Vegetable casserole

This colourful vegetable casserole is finished with a fresh and punchy mixture of parsley, garlic, lemon zest and toasted almonds, and served with fluffy parmesan polenta. Touches like these can transform a simple vegetable dish into a feast for the eye and palate.

Vegetable casserole


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 12 baby corn
  • 1 small or ½ large butternut pumpkin, about 600 g, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut across into 2.5 cm slices
  • 1 eggplant, halved lengthwise and cut across into 2.5 cm slices
  • 1 sweet red capsicum, seeded and cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 2 cups (500 ml) hot vegetable stock, preferably homemade light or rich
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • finely shredded or coarsely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ⅓ cup (20 g) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1⅓ cups (200 g) instant polenta
  • ⅓ cup (50 g) freshly grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano


  1. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish.
  2. Add the onion wedges and corn and fry over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Add the slices of pumpkin to the casserole, toss them in the oil and then stir in the eggplant and capsicum.
  5. Cover and leave the vegetables to sweat over a low to moderate heat for 10 minutes, turning them twice, until they are lightly tinged golden brown.
  6. Pour in the wine, let it sizzle and then stir in the stock.
  7. Bring to the boil and add seasoning to taste.
  8. Cover the casserole and cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, make the topping.
  10. Preheat the grill to high.
  11. Spread the slivered almonds on a baking tray and toast under the grill until they are lightly browned.
  12. Watch them closely and shake the tray occasionally to ensure the nuts are evenly toasted.
  13. Place in a small bowl and mix in the remaining topping ingredients.
  14. To prepare the polenta, bring 1 litre water to the boil in a large saucepan over a high heat.
  15. Gradually whisk in the polenta and continue whisking until it absorbs all the liquid.
  16. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook for 5–10 minutes, stirring, until the polenta is thick.
  17. Beat in the parmesan and oregano with seasoning to taste.
  18. To serve, spoon the polenta onto plates or into large individual bowls.
  19. Ladle the vegetable casserole on top and sprinkle with the topping.

Serves 4
Preparation: about 20 minutes
Cooking: about 45 minutes


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