What happens when you layer roasted fresh veggies, salsa verde, corn tortillas and spinach with a little cheese? For the poetic, call it pure deliciousness. For the technical, call it de-constructed enchiladas. Either way, you'll be happy to call it for "supper", one for now, another for the freezer.
This is the latest "master recipe" for vegetables, a great choice for a fridge or garden full of vegetables.
Here’s a quibble with vegetable recipes. Not the quick all-vegetable side dishes. Not the vegetable soups. No, my quibble is with the recipes where vegetables are “supposed” to be the star but then show up in small volume.
So I’ve been working on master vegetable recipes that use a lot of vegetables at one time, not a measly half cup split six ways. Remember the Master Recipe for Homemade Vegetable Soup? That was the first Master Recipe and I’m proud that people really love it.
My goal is to offer master recipes considered godsends by people who collect random vegetables in their refrigerators, also by gardeners, CSA members and farmers market shoppers. If you love fresh veggies? I hope you’ll love this recipe too.
Now I’ll be honest with you. When I first made Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole a year ago, I decided against sharing it. Why? Because it really does take some time to prep all the vegetables – nothing hard, mind you, just that washing and trimming and chopping vegetables takes time.
But then we tasted it! Two hungry men (one a vegetable lover, one who sniffs at vegetables with disdain) both devoured this casserole! So did I! So good! And two weeks later, when I pulled the second casserole out of the freezer and it had held so well?
All of a sudden, the effort seemed worth it and for me, it’s a recipe that’s always out there, saying, “Make me! A little work yes, but remember how good I taste?”
Here’s why this master recipe has lots going for it:Flavor and satisfaction at the table – it’s filling
Good looks in a messy-plate casserole-ish sort of way
LOTS of vegetables, your choice based on what’s in season, what’s on hand, what appeals
Otherwise easy-to-find pantry vegetables and ingredients
Lots of variability, not just with the vegetable choices but with the spices and salsa and cheese and even the tortillas
TAKE CARE WITH NEWER PYREX AND ANCHOR GLASS PRODUCTS For two casseroles, one for the now and one for the freezer, I use two Pyrex rectangles, the six-cup ones easily found at Target, Walmart, etc. Newer Pyrex and Anchor glass products should be handled carefully, especially with temperature changes. Want more information?What Pyrex says, here.
What the Today Show said in December 2012, here.
What Snopes says about emails that are circulating, here.
Results of Consumer Reports’ January 2011 testing, here.
Experiences of other home cooks, here
Oven time: 60 - 90 minutes (30–45m vegetables, 30–45m casserole)
Time to table: 2 to 2-1/2 hours
Makes one 9x9 or 11x7 casserole or
two 6x7 casseroles,
about 12 main dish servings
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 poblano chile, cut into matchsticks
- 1 red pepper, cut into matchsticks
- 1 green pepper, cut into matchsticks
- 10 cups (about 2 pounds after trimming) more vegetables, cut small, such as:
- Sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- Fennel, chopped
- Turnip, chopped
- Eggplant, skin on, chopped
- Cauliflower, cut into small florets
- Corn, off the cob
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Generous salt & pepper
- 16 ounces (2 cups) salsa verde or another salsa (I use mild)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Corn tortillas, sliced or torn (I use 4 small tortillas)
- Protein, optional (I’ve used cooked chicken, rinsed and drained black beans, cooked shrimp, etc.)
- Fresh spinach leaves or chard leaves, heavy stems discarded, cut in ribbons (I use about 3 ounces)
- 2 cups grated Mexican-style cheese (I use cotija and queso Chihuahua)
- Sour cream
- Chopped cilantro
ROASTED VEGETABLES Preheat oven to 425F. In a large bowl, combine onion, poblano, peppers and additional vegetables. Add oil, cumin, garlic and salt and pepper. With your hands, stir the vegetables to coat with oil and spices, working really well to distribute. Spread the veggies across one or two rimmed baking sheets and roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until soft and beginning to brown, about 30 to 40 minutes. Vegetables may be roasted ahead of time for assembly within a day or two. If baking right away, leave oven on.
SALSA In a bowl, stir together salsa and cilantro.
LAYERS Set up an assembly line to build the layers in one 9x9 or one 11x7 or two 6x7 oven-safe casserole dishes.
Layer 1 – Salsa
Layer 2 – Corn tortillas
Layer 3 – Roasted vegetables
Layer 4 – Protein
Layer 5 – Spinach
Layer 6 – Cheese
Repeat the layers three times for a 9x9 casserole or two times for two 6x7 casseroles, occasionally compressing the layers with your hands. Cover with foil.
BAKE RIGHT AWAY Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.
TO SERVE Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Cut into servings for plates or serve tableside with a spoon. Serve with fresh cilantro and sour cream.
TO BAKE LATER Refrigerate but bring dish to room temperature for about an hour before baking. Heat oven to 425F. Bake for 45 minutes or until heated clear through. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes until cheese begins to brown.
FREEZE TO BAKE LATER Cover tightly, removing as much air as possible from the container. Freeze for up to about 2 months. Thaw before baking.
LEFTOVERS Leftover re-warm beautifully! I especially like a small square topped with a poached egg for breakfast or breakfast-as-supper.
Nothing Hard, It Just Takes a Little Time
This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2012
Winter Fruit Salad Spring Stuffing Plant Sale Soup Caper Chops with Curried Carrots Chocolate Malt Ice Cream Sweet Potato Salad with Roasted Poblano, Roasted Corn & Chipotle A Hundred Mile Dinner for the Incurable Epicureans in St. Louis Brown Sugar Lemon Curd
This Week, Elsewhere
Asparagus Soup from Magpie's Restaurant
~ more St. Louis Restaurant Recipes ~
My Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Artichoke Recipes - Alphabet of Vegetables
~ more Recent Recipes ~
A Veggie Venture
More Mexican-Style Recipes for Cinco de Mayo
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