This harvest-friendly casserole can be cooked with a variety of vegetables fresh from the garden. Contrasting textures of cornmeal, custard, cheese and veggies layer together to produce a delicious balance of flavors. This recipe comes to us from Mary Alice Denson of Alderpoint, CA.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup stone ground cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups eggplant, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed cumin seed
- 1-3 teaspoons mild ground chili
- 1/4 pound jack cheese, grated
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large pot, bring two cups of water to a boil over high heat. Slowly add the stone ground cornmeal. Stir constantly for a minute or two or until cornmeal has thickened. Immediately remove pot from heat and spread cornmeal over the bottom and up the sides of a two quart baking dish. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes or until onions begin to turn clear. Add the bell peppers and stir to incorporate for 1 minute, then add the eggplant and stir for another minute, then the tomato.
Add 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, 1 teaspoon crushed cumin and 1-3 teaspoons ground chili powder (depending on how spicy you’d like the dish) to the veggies. Mix thoroughly to incorporate the spices.
While vegetables are sautéing, sprinkle grated jack cheese on top of cornmeal layer.
Spread sautèed vegetable combination over the cheese layer.
In a separate bowl, beat together 2 large eggs and ¾ cup milk. Pour milk-egg mixture over the vegetable in an even layer.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until the custard has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.