By Jan D’atri
You’ve heard it your entire life from Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa: “Eat your vegetables.”
But Grandma didn’t have the advantage of instant access to thousands of recipes for veggies trending online. There was no such thing as veggies gone viral in her day. Eating veggies often meant plowing through a pile of potatoes, noshing on fresh corn on the cob or sopping up baked beans. So, what do you get when you combine the age-old request to “eat your vegetables” with a veggie dish trending on social media?
You get an empty plate. It’s really that good. The veggie rainbow round combines any and all of your favorite produce in season, sliced in rounds and placed pinwheel style in a pie dish with a layer of tomato sauce and ricotta and Parmesan cheese as a base.
Just about everything “rainbow” is trending these days, from bagels and waffles to multi-colored pastas. So why not veggies? I’ve offered up some of my ideas for sliced vegetables like Japanese eggplant, summer squash and purple potatoes. Make up your own rainbow of veggies, and then serve it up as a wonderful meatless main dish or colorful and tasty side.
Veggie Rainbow Round
• 1 jar (approximately 12 to 16 ounces) pizza sauce, marinara sauce or crushed tomatoes
• 1 (16 ounces) container whole-milk ricotta
• 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 large zucchini
• 2 yellow summer squash
• 1 small red onion
• 2 to 3 medium tomatoes
• 2 Japanese eggplants
• 2 medium potatoes, white
• 2 medium potatoes, purple
**Any other veggies you like, as long as
you can cut them the same size
• 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon pepper
Slice all veggies about the same size, approximately 2 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick.
Spread pizza sauce, marinara sauce or crushed tomatoes in the bottom of a 9-inch tart pan or glass pie plate. Dot with ricotta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Starting at the outside edge of the dish, lay alternating slices of veggies in a pinwheel pattern, working your way to the middle of the dish, allowing the slices to slightly overlap. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, garlic powder and pepper.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until veggies are cooked and top is slightly browned.
Note: If using a combination of hard vegetables like potatoes and onions, and softer veggies like zucchini, you can pan-grill, par-boil or microwave harder veggies for just a few minutes to give them a jump-start in the cooking process and then arrange with softer slices in the pie plate. This step, however, is optional.