Recipe Corner: Eggplant and Zucchini Casserole with Yogurt Lemon Sauce


By Christine Vartanian Datian

Fresh and easy vegetarian recipe


6 cups diced, peeled eggplant, about 1 pound

2 medium zucchini, peeled, diced into medium chunks

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

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1 medium onion, finely diced

1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 cup tomato or marinara sauce

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon each dried basil and dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon each crushed red pepper flakes, sea salt, ground cumin, and black pepper

1/8 teaspoon allspice

1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced

Grated Parmesan or Kasseri cheese (for top)

Home-made or store-bought bread crumbs

Olive oil
Yogurt Lemon Sauce

2 cups plain white or Greek yogurt

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Crushed dried mint (optional)



Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large pan or skillet, sauté the garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil; add the onion, tomato and bell pepper and cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

Add the eggplant, zucchini, tomato or marinara sauce, white wine, olive oil, tomato paste and remaining spices and toss well; cook for about 5-10 minutes, tossing until ingredients come to a medium simmer; add the parsley and toss; pour into a large buttered baking dish, top with choice of cheese, bread crumbs, and a drizzle of olive oil, and bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the top is bubbly.

While the dish is baking, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl or container, cover, and refrigerate until serving.  When the dish is done, remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve the sauce on the side as a topping; top dish with chopped parsley, if desired.

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Christine Vartanian Datian is a native of Fresno, California and lives in Las Vegas.  She has worked in advertising, marketing, and government subcontracting, and served as a copywriter and technical writer.  She is a graduate of California State University, Fresno (CSUF), and holds a Master of Arts Degree (MA) in Journalism.  She has been published in Sunset and Cooking Light magazines.imgres-2

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