Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Italian Zucchini Casserole

So What Did I Make with the $2 Bag of Zucchini???

Zucchini, zucchini, I heart zucchini. Well, I bought a whole bag of beautiful, fresh zucchini from Samaha's - my favorite farmstand. I decided to make a recipe straight from my childhood - Zucchini Casserole we called it. This recipe came from a neighbor who was born in, and spent her childhood, in Italy. Boy could she cook! Her house always smelled so good and a big pot of something delicious was always on the stove. Once I tasted this, I was hooked! So different from my Irish/German heritage. Don't get me wrong, I am proud of my heritage and each do have their own great culinary contributions (i.e. Irish butter and Phlaumenkuchen). I guess I have always been an Italian wannabe, although lately I have been sort of Greek obsessed - well I love the Mediterranean! So anyway here is Josie's recipe as remembered and perhaps Americanized or NJized...

6-8 zucchini sliced crosswise 1/2" thick
1 large onion diced
4tbs. butter
4 tbs. olive oil
2 28 oz. cans whole peeled San Marzano or plum tomatoes
1 cup grated Locatelli Romano cheese
Salt to taste
8 slices white bread - cubed
garlic butter

Steam the sliced zucchini until tender and drain well (I blot with paper towels). Meanwhile dice the onion and saute it in the butter and olive oil until the onion is tender and transluscent. Add the canned tomatoes, cheese and salt to taste to the onions. Simmer about 30 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the tomato mixture to the zucchinis in a large casserole dish (9X12). Top the dish with cubed white bread and drizzle with garlic butter. Place in the oven at 375 degrees until the casserole is heated through and the bread is lightly toasted and brown.

Simple and delicious way to use those wonderful NJ zucchinis. I love summertime!

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