Sunday, July 8, 2012

#MeatlessMonday - Zucchini Parmigiana

Zucchini Parmigiana

Recipe by Bill C

A (somewhat) lightened version of the ubiquitous Eggplant Parmesan. Quickly grilled zucchini slices are layered with crushed tomatoes, basil and cheese. the result is a sweetly succulent casserole that works equally well as a vegetarian main course or as an accompaniment to any kind of simply grilled meat.

  • 3 lb. Zucchini
  • 12 oz Mozzarella, sliced thin
  • 2 oz Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 28 0z Can Crushed San Marzano Tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Basil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Cooking Directions
  1. Wash and trim the zucchini, then slice lengthwise into thin slices. You need enough to create 4 layers in a 9 inch square baking dish.

  2. Place a layer of zucchini in a colander, salt lightly, and repeat using all the zucchini slices. Place a plate and a weight (the can of tomatoes works perfectly) on top and let drain for an hour.
  3. Heat a grill pan on high, then reduce heat to medium.
  4. Pour some olive oil on a plate and lightly oil each slice of zucchini.
  5. Grilled Zucchini
  6. Grill the zucchini slices on both sides so they become soft and nicely marked. As each batch of slices is done, transfer them to plate lined with paper towels to drain and cool. Repeat until all the zucchini is cooked.
  7. Build the layers:
    Crushed Tomatoes

    Spread half a cup of the crushed tomatoes in the bottom of a 9 inch baking dish. sprinkle on a few torn basil leaves. Place a layer of zucchini slices in the pan, overlapping slightly. Top with a few slices of the mozzarella and some Parmigiano. Spread on another half cup of tomatoes, add a few grinds of black pepper and scatter on some torn basil. Repeat, ending with a layer of zucchini.
  8. Spread the remaining crushed tomato on the last layer of zucchini, top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmigiano and bake in a 400 F oven for about 30-45 minutes, until, the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is well browned.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  10. Cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Vegetables: This week we happened to have enough zucchini to make this "as is". It is just as good with half zucchini and half eggplant or any other combination of summer vegetables. And yes, it's perfectly alright to toss in some pepper flakes, garlic, sliced onions or whatever you happen to have too much of from the garden. Grill or broil any additional garden ingredients to bring out their sugars and add extra flavor

Cooling: This dish must be allowed to cool almost to room temperature in order to give it time to come together. If you don't let it cool, it will fall apart into a tasty, but sloppy pile.

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