While Chef de Home’s recipe made for a fantastic foundation, I made some adjustments based on my 1st and 2nd time making it – you need more vegetables to fill even just a small casserole dish, and while they preferred to leave the tomato sauce up to you, I like using pre-packaged items that not only taste good, but are good for you. If I don’t have the time to make the tomato sauce myself, the whole30 compliant version I found will work perfectly! They also used bell pepper, but it doesn’t fit the circular theme that’s going on, so I swapped for tomato – yes, it’s more watery, BUT you almost need that for the sauce to loosen it up and really ensure all your veggies are covered. The bechamel is a GREAT addition of creaminess to this recipe, but I did add reduce the milk (you don’t need 1 cup), and added salt/pepper. I will also say, you don’t have to boil the potatoes – you slice them so thin anyway, they’re perfect cooking with the rest of the veggies.
- 2 eggplants
- 2 yellow squash
- 2 zucchini
- 3 medium red potatoes
- 3 beef tomatoes
Bechamel Sauce (not whole30 compliant)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 jar of Paul Newman’s Tomato & Basil Sauce (Whole30 Compliant!)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3–4 sprigs of thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- Additional salt/pepper to taste
- olive oil for topping
- Mandoline (and no cut gloves…)
- Parchment Paper
- Biscuit Cutter
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Place your baking dish (whatever you want to use) on top of parchment paper, and use a pencil/pen/marker to draw around the bottom – cut out the shape with scissors and set aside. This will ensure the parchment paper fits perfectly inside.
- CAREFULLY slice all of your veggies via mandoline (or knife) to about 4mm or 1/8 of an inch – for uniformity, you can use a biscuit cutter to cut the bigger veggies down to size of your smallest veggie width (I used my zucchini to dictate the size of all my circles).
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then add in the flour. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, then add in the milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in nutmeg, salt, and pepper (adding more to taste), and set aside.
- In the bottom of your baking dish, pour ALL (yes, all), of the jar of tomato sauce (about 2-2 1/2 cups), the garlic, thyme, chili, salt, pepper, and all of the bechamel sauce. Stir to combine.
- Create stacks of vegetables (I usually do zucchini, potato, eggplant, tomato, squash), and place into your dish, having them stand on their edges – repeat and make a circle along the outside rim, then again inside. The sauce will be thick enough to support the stacks standing.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil, then place the parchment paper on top, and bake for 55-60 minutes.
- When done, remove from oven, let sit for 5 minutes, then serve warm and drizzle more olive oil on top if desired. (You can also top with parmesan cheese!)
- Note: For a fun way to serve, use a larger biscuit cutter to arrange stacks delicately inside to make it stand like my photo!