Around this time of year the abundance of vegetables can nearly seem overwhelming. Even if you don't have a vegetable garden, the low prices on some produce can be so tempting, that it's easy to over buy. One day last week, I'd plucked a couple carrots and a Japanese eggplant from my not so stellar veggie garden, and teamed them up with some summer squash I'd bought a couple days earlier.
I stood there pondering what to do with this motley assemblage. An Asian dish seemed the obvious choice, but my belly disagreed. It said "Feed me cheese." In a rather deep and demanding voice, I might add. Hence, this easy Cheesy Veggie Salsa Mac was born.
In this simple vegetable mac and cheese dish, the cheese is mixed straight in, rather than being made into a sauce. It does meld with the salsa a little, but remains it's one entity in the dish for the most part (which sounds far more fancy than it actually is).
- ½ tbs butter or oil
- 1 small zucchini sliced
- 1 small yellow summer squash sliced
- 1 large or a couple small carrots sliced thin
- 1 small eggplant about a cup chopped, peppers or most other veggies on-hand could be substituted
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 cup cooked pasta (shells gemelli or macaroni are good choices
- ⅓ cup salsa
- ½ cup grated sharp cheddar + another ¼ cup for topping
- 1 tbs bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place butter or oil in skillet over med-high heat. Once pan is hot, add the vegetables and garlic. Saute a little under your usual preference, as they will cook a little more in casserole dish.
- Turn off burner and stir in the salsa and ½ cup of cheese, then divide into 2 small (single serve) casseroles, that have been coated with non-stick cooking spray.
- Top each with half the bread crumbs and remaining cheddar. Then bake for approx 20 minutes, cheese should be all melted and starting to brown.
- Allow to cool a few minutes, then serve right in the individual casseroles.