How to Make Eggplant and Summer Squash Enchiladas

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In the summer, when fresh eggplant and summer squash are at their peaks, it's great to have one go-to recipe that makes the most of the surplus. This eggplant and summer squash enchilada dish — which is layered with a rich sauce, gooey Monterey Jack cheese and thick corn tortillas — is a way to enjoy these two good-for-you summer veggies in a process that's as laid back as the season itself. While you're at it, go ahead and double up on all the ingredients: you'll want to make a delicious batch for dinner tonight and tomorrow.

(Image: April Anderson)

Things You'll Need

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and cubed (1 pound)

  • 10-ounce yellow summer squash, cubed

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)

  • 1 large garlic clove, minced

  • 1 can tomato puree (29-ounce)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided

  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

  • 8 corn tortillas (6-inch)

  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving

Step 1: Roast the Eggplant and Summer Squash

Spread the eggplant and squash in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the oregano and 1 teaspoon of salt over the top. After, drizzle on two tablespoons of olive oil. Using your hands, gently toss the eggplant and squash to evenly coat them in the herbs and oil. Then, place the pan in the oven and roast the veggies for 30 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and softened. Remove them from the oven and let them cool. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

(Image: April Anderson)

Step 2: Make the Enchilada Sauce

While the eggplant is roasting, make the enchilada sauce. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and let them cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they start to soften. Add the tomato puree and vegetable stock and stir to combine. Lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and then add 1 teaspoon of oregano and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let the sauce cook for 10 minutes or so before adding 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro. Turn the heat off and let the sauce cool.

(Image: April Anderson)

Step 3: Assemble the Enchiladas

Brush about 1/4 cup of the sauce in the bottom and along the sides of a 9" x 13" baking dish. Wrap the tortillas in a paper towel and microwave them for about 30 seconds. This will make them more pliable and less likely to tear.

Scoop two or three tablespoons of the roasted vegetables on to one tortilla. Top with a tablespoon or so of the enchilada sauce and a couple of pinches of the shredded cheese. Gently roll the tortilla and place it, seam-side down, into the baking dish. Repeat this step with the remaining tortillas.

(Image: April Anderson)

Once all of the enchiladas are made, top them with the rest of the sauce. Then, sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese and 1/2 tablespoon of chopped cilantro over the sauce. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake the enchiladas at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and let them bake for another 10 minutes.

(Image: April Anderson)

Tip

  • Planning ahead? Once the enchiladas are topped with sauce, they can be frozen for later. Wrap the dish tightly with plastic wrap (it should be airtight) and cover it with aluminum foil. Then, pop it in the freezer for up to a month. When it's time to bake the enchiladas, let them thaw completely in the refrigerator, and then top them all with the shredded cheese and cilantro. Cover the dish with foil, and bake it at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and finish baking it for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 4: Serve the Enchiladas

Remove the enchiladas from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. Using an offset spatula, scoop out two enchiladas per serving. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.

(Image: April Anderson)
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