July 21, 2009

Baked Zucchini & Tomatoes {Naptime Everyday}

It is an unwritten rule in our house that I, Mom, sleep late on Saturday mornings, and my husband rises early with our daughter. When we were on vacation, however, our schedule was thrown off. My husband and I took turns getting up with her each day, allowing the other the luxury of sleeping past 7am. With this schedule of alternating mornings it meant that last Saturday was my turn to get up early. Which is how I came to find myself pushing a stroller into the Tisbury Farmers’ Market at the crack of dawn.

It was on that morning, in my groggy state, I realized zucchini season has started in earnest. I couldn’t believe the varieties available, and, since it is one of my most favorite vegetables, I ended up bringing home a bag heavier than my own child.

For the remainder of the day I contemplated the different possibilities of what to make with my farmers’ market haul. I wanted to create a dish that would draw out the sweet flavors of the zucchini, and perhaps add some of the gorgeous early tomatoes I had on hand. As luck would have it, during my daughter’s naptime, I was enjoying my latest issue of Edible Vineyard and discovered a recipe for layered tomatoes and zucchini. It was exactly the inspiration I was looking for, I couldn’t wait to get started.


I consider this dish Sunday Dinner Series material because the preparation was time consuming, and the recipe yielded enough food to feed us for several days. I didn’t mind how long it took though, the final dish was full of the mouth-watering flavors that only appear when cooking with fresh, seasonal vegetables. I loved the way the nutty breadcrumb mixture added a subtle crunch to the vegetables, which had been softened from the baking.

When it came time for dinner I decided to pair the casserole with roasted local sausages, unintentionally making it a true “locavore” meal. Everyone remarked that the flavors of the savory meat and sweet vegetables played off each other beautifully. I made a mental note that the menu definitely bears repeating this summer. It also made me think I should start waking up earlier on Saturday mornings. Who knows where I could end up next.

Recipe

Naptime’s Baked Zucchini and Tomatoes, with Roasted Sausage

adapted from Edible Vineyard June/July 2009

Ingredients

For Bread Crumb Mixture:

3 T. toasted pine nuts, roughly chopped
¾ c. unflavored breadcrumbs
¾ c. grated Parmigiano cheese

For the Vegetables:

8 T. good olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and very finely sliced
1 red pepper, cored and thinly sliced
¾ lb. medium tomatoes, cut in half and thinly sliced
½ lb. zucchini, thinly sliced
3 T. sundried tomatoes, finely chopped

For the Dressing:

2 t. balsamic vinegar
2 t. honey
1 T. fresh mint, chopped
1 T. fresh basil, chopped

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat a shallow 2-quart baking dish with olive oil.
2. In a small bowl mix breadcrumbs, cheese and chopped pine nuts. Add 2 t. olive oil and mix well. Set aside.
3. In skillet heat 2 T. olive oil, add the onions and peppers and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the peppers and onions are wilted browned. Remove from heat and cool.
4. Spread the pepper/onion mixture onto the bottom of the pan, making sure it coats the pan evening in one layer. On top of this spread the finely chopped sundried tomatoes and ½ of the mint/basil herb mixture.
5. In a separate bowl whisk together the vinegar, honey, 1 T. olive oil, remaining herbs and a pinch of salt. Add the sliced zucchini slices and toss to coat.
6. To assemble to the tomato and zucchini slice proceed as follows: At one of the baking dish start arranged alternate rows of zucchini slices and tomato slices, slightly overlapping each other. Every time you finish a row sprinkle some of the breadcrumb mixture over it. Then proceed with the next row. I was able to make three rows of zucchini and two rows of zucchini in my dish, which is about how much you will have too.
7. Once the rows are complete, sprinkle the vegetables with the remaining olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Then sprinkle the remaining bread mixture over it all.
8. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

Any way to use fresh produce is always welcome in my house. I love this dish because it makes the most of the vegetables flavors, without being overly complicated. Feel free to serve this with chicken, steak, or even on it’s own.

Naptime Stopwatch

The total preparation for this dish is almost 2 hours. I saved time at night by pre-chopping the vegetables during my daughter’s naptime.

Naptime Reviews

We are all fans of roasted vegetables, which is why this dish was such a hit. My daughter especially loved the roasted zucchini.

More Naptime Recipes

  • Paul Green – TemporaryChef

    Ok, I'm now a fan, having stumbled across your blog today. You have a new link on my blogroll.Thanks for the neat posts.

  • Paul Green – TemporaryChef

    Ok, I'm now a fan, having stumbled across your blog today. You have a new link on my blogroll.

    Thanks for the neat posts.

  • Elle

    This looks and sounds wonderful! Isn't is great when things fall into place like that? My mouth is watering thinking about this. I wonder if I can find a vegan sub for parm? hmmm…going to find out!

  • Elle

    This looks and sounds wonderful! Isn't is great when things fall into place like that? My mouth is watering thinking about this. I wonder if I can find a vegan sub for parm? hmmm…going to find out!

  • Kelsey B.

    I am so glad you like the recipe. I am sure there is a veg sub for the parm. @Paul, thanks for your support, I am glad you enjoy the site! :)

  • Kelsey B.

    I am so glad you like the recipe. I am sure there is a veg sub for the parm. @Paul, thanks for your support, I am glad you enjoy the site! :)

  • Shani

    Yum, that sounds fantastic! I love it when things come together and result in something great. I'm going to have to give this one a try!

  • Shani

    Yum, that sounds fantastic! I love it when things come together and result in something great. I'm going to have to give this one a try!

  • Lani

    Hi there! I came across your blog via the Blogher newsletter, and when I saw that you are from Cooperstown, I had to say hi.. I went to high school and part of college in Oneonta! I am thinking I may have to try the zucchini recipe you have here:) thanks!

  • Lani

    Hi there! I came across your blog via the Blogher newsletter, and when I saw that you are from Cooperstown, I had to say hi.. I went to high school and part of college in Oneonta! I am thinking I may have to try the zucchini recipe you have here:) thanks!

  • Jennifer

    Hi nappy….my kids would love this because of the sausage…My hubby and I would love things for all the components. Applause for utilizing the farmer's market.

  • Jennifer

    Hi nappy….my kids would love this because of the sausage…My hubby and I would love things for all the components. Applause for utilizing the farmer's market.

  • judy

    surprised at yesterdays harvest of cukes where I cook at morning glory farm! I need help with ideas! Judy

  • judy

    surprised at yesterdays harvest of cukes where I cook at morning glory farm! I need help with ideas! Judy

  • Kelsey B.

    Judy – I have loads of other zucchini recipes, Thursday is zucchini spoonbread and I wrote about zucchini-lemon cookies today on the Tampa Tribune online site. You would like them! I LOVE Morning Glory!

  • Kelsey B.

    Judy – I have loads of other zucchini recipes, Thursday is zucchini spoonbread and I wrote about zucchini-lemon cookies today on the Tampa Tribune online site. You would like them! I LOVE Morning Glory!

  • Daisy

    this looks delicious! I'm going to copy it now while my zhuccini are ripening.

  • Daisy

    this looks delicious! I'm going to copy it now while my zhuccini are ripening.

  • Katie R.

    My mouth is watering. What do you suggest for a hubby who doesn't like sausage?

  • Katie R.

    My mouth is watering. What do you suggest for a hubby who doesn't like sausage?

  • Kelsey B.

    Hi katie R! I would recommend grilled lemon chicken or a light fish. The vegetables are flavorful, so you don't want a heavy meat to overpower the casserole.

  • Kelsey B.

    Hi katie R! I would recommend grilled lemon chicken or a light fish. The vegetables are flavorful, so you don't want a heavy meat to overpower the casserole.

  • Rosy

    Hey Kelsey, that looks great! Will be giving it a go as our garden's just started producing the WORLD of courgettes (oops! sorry, zucchini) and tomatoes. R x

  • Rosy

    Hey Kelsey, that looks great! Will be giving it a go as our garden's just started producing the WORLD of courgettes (oops! sorry, zucchini) and tomatoes. R x