Zucchini, and More Zucchini!

Not long back we posted a picture of this little zucchini. It was so little and tiny then.

Yes, we have zucchini!

Well, look at it today!

It grew!
Now that’s a zucchini!

We’re amazed at how fast it grew in just over a week. It prompted a further search of what else might be lurking in dark corners of the zucchini plants. Lo and behold, we found a couple more prizes!

No, wait...THOSE are zucchini! (Plus a few early tomatoes.)
No, wait…THOSE are zucchini! (Plus a few early tomatoes.)

Oddly enough, these big guys came from zucchini plants that had somehow migrated from one side of the bed in which they were planted to the other side, thereby intermingling with other squashes and melons. But however they got here, they’re here. And the question now is, what the heck do we do with them? Zucchini bread immediately came to mind — loads and loads of delicious zucchini bread! Then we thought about grilling it as a side dish, roasting it and throwing it in top of rice or pasta, chopping it up into a casserole, and, of course, making some wonderful Zucchini Parmesan!

If you’ve had Eggplant Parmesan, then your already familiar with the concept: pieces of squash breaded and fried, placed in a red sauce over pasta or cooked in a casserole. The latter version that we’re sharing here is a great option if you’re trying to cut back on your pasta consumption or just want a hearty and satisfying vegetarian meal. Plus, its ridiculously simple the throw together. So let’s get on with the cooking! (Here’s our process truncated with the full recipe following.)

First, we cut up and fried the zucchini, which had been dipped in eggs and breadcrumbs.

Prepping the zucchini rounds with eggs and breadcrumbs.
Prepping the zucchini rounds.
Mmmmm...fried zucchini...
Mmmmm…fried zucchini…

Then we drained the slices and grabbed the marinara sauce and cheeses (Parmesan and mozzarella).

Waiting to become something spectacular!
Waiting to become something spectacular!

Then, in our baking dish, we started layering the fried zucchini with sauce and cheese.

Commencing with the layering.
Commencing with the layering.
End with a cheese layer for an ooey gooey topping.
End with a cheese layer for an ooey gooey topping.

Then we covered the dish in foil and baked it until it was bubbly and golden!

Yup, that's a baking dish wrapping with foil.
Yup, that’s a baking dish wrapping with foil.
But a deliciousness eventually appeared!
But a deliciousness eventually appeared!

This dish smelled wonderful while it’s cooking, which more than made up for having to use the oven on a hot, summer day. It gets high marks from us an easy and filling main meal.

Zucchini Parmesan

(Makes 4 servings in an 8×8 baking dish)

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini cut into rounds 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup of Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese

You’ll also need:

  • large frying pan
  • 8×8 baking dish
  • cooking spray
  • plate covered with paper towels or a draining rack

Instructions

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2.  Place the zucchini rounds between sheets of paper towels and pat dry.
  3.  Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat (about five minutes).
  4.  Working in batches, dip the zucchini in the beaten eggs, coat with bread crumbs, and place them in the pan.
  5.  Lightly fry the zucchini until golden brown on both sides, flipping only once (about 4-5 minutes per side).
  6.  Once done, move the rounds to a plate covered in paper towels or draining rack. Continue frying the zucchini until all the pieces are done.
  7.  Coat bottom of baking dish with cooking spray, then ladle in a spoonful or two of sauce and spread it around the bottom of the dish.
  8.  Layer zucchini rounds in the bottom of the dish to cover it (cutting some in half if need be), then spoon on sauce, then sprinkle with Parmesan and mozzarella, then start another layer of zucchini. Continue layering until you’ve filled the dish, ending with a layer of cheese.
  9.  Cover the dish in aluminum foil and cook in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden.
  10.  Let the casserole rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Enjoy with salad and bread!

 

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4 thoughts on “Zucchini, and More Zucchini!

  1. Howto$tuffYourPig 07/14/2015 / 9:05 pm

    Love zucchini! This dish looks amazing!

    • Garden State-ments 07/15/2015 / 7:44 am

      Thanks! It is quite delicious and lighter than your standard lasagna.

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