Cimeara (cimeara) wrote,

A Casserole for Mothers Day

It was a wonderful Mothers Day.  My daughter sent flowers (twice! a mixup between national company and local florists, we think, since the note was exactly the same), my son gave me very good chocolates, and my husband  gave me a lovely orange-scented perfume.    Beccause I love to cook, I got to cook, and that went very well, too.

Garbure Provencale with Sausage

The recipe book called this variant a "Garbure Provencale" but all the garbure recipes I've found online are ones for the beans & cabbage Gascon version.   This one is closer to a Greek Briam or an Italian Ribollita/Riboletta, and as that sort it barely needs a recipe at all.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.   You'll need a large oven-proof casserole with cover (or you can cover with foil).  Ready the following:

Bread: Italian or French, sliced about 1/4" thick, and put the slices in the oven for about 5-10 minutes to toast
Sausage (meat is totally optional): about a pound of loose Italian or garlic sausage, sauteed till cooked through; or diced salt ham or bacon
Onions: about 3 medium onions, sliced thin and sauteed in olive oil till golden
Eggplant: one medium one, sliced in 1/4" thick rounds (you can leave the peel on), put in a bowl of heavily salted water and let sit for about 20 minutes to leach out the bitterness, then drain and rinse
Tomatoes:  about 6 medium, and if you're picky then pour boiling water over them and peel, but otherwise just slice; you could also use canned tomatoes
Peppers: sweet peppers, about 3 medium blocky ones or more of the long, green or red or both, cored and seeds removed and sliced in thin strips
Zucchini: 2 or 3, sliced thinly, if you have room for them (I didn't)
Garlic: 3 or 4 cloves, minced, to sprinkle in with the other vegetables when making layers

You'll also need salt, pepper, marjoram, thyme, basil, about 1/2 cup olive oil (what was used for the onions counts), and a wineglass amount of water.   In the casserole, start with a layer of onions and then a layer of toasted bread, then continue to layer vegetables, sausage, and toast in whatever order you like, adding spices, salt & pepper to taste as you go, as long as you end with a layer of toasted bread on top.   Note: the layers will collapse further down during cooking so don't be afraid to get to the very top of the casserole.   Pour the wineglass worth of water over everything and follow it with the rest of the olive oil.   Cover.   Bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  Uncover and bake 1/2 hour longer to gild the top; Do Not Stir.    You can add 1/2 wineglass of brandy or sherry about 15 minutes before it's done.    Serves 4-8 depending on what else you're having and how hungry your guests are.   Extra bread of a different sort, maybe with toasted cheese, would go nicely, as would a lightly dressed salad of mixed greens..

Tags: recipe

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