What a Crock!

Scalloped Vegetables with a Warm Shallot and Caper Vinaigrette served alongside a Grilled Romaine Salad

This Crock is NOT Nonsense

Pictured here is a delicious dish that warmed my soul. This one took some time and was a small labor of love…but guess what? I had nothing but quaran-TIME and I LOVED sharing this meal with my husband.

While I was chopping and prepping all my fruits and vegetables for the week, I realized how many tomatoes, zucchini, and squash I had.

It’s just all so BEAUTIFUL! I get excited.

I started thinking about how pretty our bounty of veggies were and how I wanted to show them off in whatever dish I made.

As well as, I wanted the dish to be a comfort classic since it’s quarantine after all.

Can you think of anything prettier? Anything better than fresh, thinly sliced in season vegetables? In an adorable crock? I can’t.

Veggies for the Ramekins

  1. 2 Zucchinis
  2. 2 Yellow Squash
  3. 2 Red Tomatoes
  4. 2 Yellow Tomatoes

I started off with using my mandolin to thinly slice the zucchini and squash.

Since these vegetables carry a lot of water, I wanted them to dry out and just sort of hang out for awhile before I began to cook with them.

I lightly salted the zucchini and squash and let them release their juices for a few hours while I went about my day. It was crazy to see the amount of water that dripped off from them!

I highly suggest you take the efforts not to skip this step. You don’t want to have a soggy meal, no one likes mushy food.

In the meantime you can prepare other food, work out, do laundry, ready a book, have a cocktail…you can do that because it’s quarantine and hopefully after 10AM when you start making this 🙂 However if it’s not, that is OK, this is a judgement free zone.

This dish has a lot of moving components. Just before I started to assemble my veggie crocks. I preheated my oven to 400°. While the oven preheated, I made some quick croutons for my grilled salad.

I cubed up some bitesized stale baguette.

Tossed in a large mixing bowl with olive oil, squeeze of lemon, minced garlic, fresh parsley, and salt and pepper.

I baked them until golden, just a few minutes! Keep your eye on them, they will burn quickly and you will be very sad, I know from experience.

Take them out and set them aside until your ready to serve your plates!

While your crouton cuties are baking, you can thinly slice your tomatoes and get your veggies ready to be smushed into your crocks.

Don’t start stuffing these until your croutons are out of the oven! I am reiterating, you WILL burn your bread.

It’s hard to stop what you’re doing to check on the oven sometimes, I become a one track mind chef ALL the time.

OK, croutons are baked so begin assembly! I added a small amount of olive oil to season and grease my crocks and simply began to layer by layer the squash, zucchini, and tomatoes.

There was no rhyme or reason, I just started smushing everyone into the pot. It’s amazing how many slices you can fit into these little guys. These dishes were the perfect portion size for two people.

As you get closer to the center you will notice the veggies start to take the shape of a flower, it’s so cool!

Just before popping these guys into the preheated 400° oven, I made the warm vinaigrette that I used to add some more flavor to the veggies while they baked and to lightly dress the grilled salad.

  • Olive Oil, a good amount
  • 1 Thinly Sliced Shallot
  • 1 Clove of Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of Capers, use more or less for your salt level
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Minced Parsley plus more for garnish
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Basil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of Champagne Vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon

SIDE NOTE- I also took out some arugula pesto that I had made the night prior to come back to room temperature to serve with dinner as well. Use everything up! It’s nice when all your dishes can come full circle and leftovers can be repurposed.

Heat a small sauce pot on medium heat, add your shallots so they get a little crispy. Turn off the heat and take off the burner. Add your garlic, capers, parsley, vinegar, and lemon juice. Mix or whisk and pour half over your vegetable crocks. Reserve the other half to dress your romaine before serving.

Place your ramekins on a baking sheet and pop them into the oven to bake. This just makes your life easier than trying to place the tiny pots in the hot oven. Bake about 30 mins until tender.

SIDE NOTE- I also had leftover homemade marinara with Italian chicken sausage…yum. While the veggies were baking, I reheated the sauce on the stove so I could indulge in the previous nights delicious dinner again. After I took my 500 pictures of the finished veggie crocks, I slathered my plate with my chicken sausage marinara and then dumped the vegetables on top and added the pesto…HOLY flavor town. This dish was good on it’s own, then adding my leftovers made it over the top, in a good way.

Dinner is almost ready…

When you’re in the home stretch of baking time, preheat a grill pan and get your romaine going.

I love grilled romaine. I think it’s the only way to eat it! Grilling the lettuce brings out so much flavor that you never knew existed. I promise you won’t eat romaine again without the char of a grill pan. Not only is it beautiful, but it really elevates the flavor AND looks like you did a lot of work.

Cut your heads of romaine lettuce lengthwise and drizzle olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper. Place cut side down on your hot grill pan. I like to press down gently on the lettuce so there is added pressure and really gets those char marks.

After about 3-5 mins, take them off your grill pan and plate! Top with your homemade croutons and warm vinaigrette.

Honestly the flavor with this grilled romain is so great you don’t even need the vinaigrette, but come on…a little dressing never hurts.

Right after I plated my salad, I cranked the broiler, topped the vegetable ramekins with some parmesan cheese and let them crisp up.

Then it was time to sit down with my husband and enjoy our dinner and talk about CROCK.

As always, this dish can have a multiple of substitutions and additions. It is also freezer friendly and you could whip up a huge batch to save for another time.

It’s tasty, healthy, and pretty!

One Comment Add yours

  1. So pretty! Lots of technique here.


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