There are probably as many recipes out there for vegetable casseroles as there are cooks; if you’ve been in the kitchen for awhile you develop a feel for how much, how long, and when to start. This is one of those non-recipes that I can prepare in about 20 minutes (30 if I clean up afterwards), set it in the cold oven, and turn it on an hour before my husband gets home from work. He rides his bike to work, and it takes him roughly an hour to get home through the city of Zurich; years ago we developed the habit of him calling me when he’s ready to leave the office (there was an episode of ruined homemade ravioli because he was stuck in a business meeting, which I won’t dig up…), so when he calls I can just switch on the oven and forget about it – it will be ready when he gets in. The title is simply because this recipe is a suggestion – amounts are arbitrary, and it all depends on how big your casserole dish is. So without further ado…
Suggestible Vegetable Casserole
Choose your weapons: A good cutting knife, cutting board, and the right-sized casserole dish; set out a large bowl to toss the cut veggies into (you’ll see why).
Choose your victims: I use whatever I have on hand, and I look for veggies that need using, or leftovers (e.g. I had a bit of leftover topping from the Baked Tomatoes, and used that as part of my topper). I used the following:
5-6 smallish potatoes, quartered and diced
3 large tomatoes, diced
6-8 carrots, diced
A handful of celery, diced (I keep a bag of this in the freezer to grab for such occasions)
A handful of spring onions, chopped (ditto)
A handful of chopped tender-stem broccoli (any sturdy greens will do)
1 package of Feta cheese, cubed
- Toss them in as you go. Now comes a “secret” technique:
2 x 2-portion dried soup powder (I use complementary flavours, e.g. spring veg, onion, etc.)
- Toss the vegetables with these powdered soups to coat them thoroughly; doing this ahead of baking time allows the flavours to soak in; you can toss a bit of chives in, but otherwise you won’t need any other spice or flavouring.
- Pour the veggies into your casserole dish and spread them out – they should loosely fill the dish to the rim, with air-space in between for the liquid mixture. Now use that bowl to mix the following:
~ ½ – 1 Cup half & half cream
1-2 Cups milk
- Pour evenly over the vegetables. Now sprinkle on the topping:
120 gr. (just over ½ cup) grated cheese
- Set it into the oven and let the flavours marry until time to turn on the heat.
- Bake at 190°C (375°F) for ~1 hour, checking it the last 10 minutes or so.