I know we are all so very busy at this time of year, so I will keep my conversation brief. My first order of business is to suggest having a bowl of olives and a glass of wine at your fingertips while you prepare this recipe (or any recipe for that matter). The picture above represents my evening snack, basically from when I step into the door. You see, I walk to and from work, so by the time I get home, I am pretty hungry. While I don't want to spoil my appetite for dinner, olives seem to do the trick.
This zucchini Parmesan dish does have several steps, but it is a great dinner party dish and can even made the day or night before. It reheats quite nicely, and like lasagna, tastes even better the next day since all the flavors have had a chance to marry. You can certainly do this same recipe with eggplant or other varieties of squash may be interesting. But take the recipe for a spin. You will impress the people warming the kitchen chairs.
Yields 2-4 servings
This recipe is a little looser than most of my recipes, mostly because I don't follow a recipe for eggplant or zucchini Parmesan. This is a simplified combination recipe of eggplant/zucchini Parmesan and lasagna mixed together to make for a healthy, lighter version. If you want a little more, serve spaghetti noodles to accompany.
2 zucchinis, sliced thinly with a mandolin or carefully with a sharp knife
Spices, such as oregano and thyme
1 egg, whisked
Tomato Sauce (click for recipe or use from the jar)
If you are making your own sauce, start there first so that it can be simmering on the back burner while you prepare the zucchini. Preheat oven to 400 degrees at this time as well.
Prepare the zucchini by slicing in long thin slices from the top to the bottom as pictured above. Set aside. Prepare two very shallow bowls or two deep plates with the dredging stations. In one plate or bowl, pour in the whisked egg. In the other plate or bowl, pour in enough flour that you imagine will finely coat each zucchini slice (you can be conservative here because you can always add more). Toss in some herbs. I used oregano and thyme. Prepare one or two large saute pans at this time as well, because once you coat the zucchini, you can start sauteing. Heat the pans on low to medium and pour in a healthy amount of olive oil.
Take one zucchini slice at a time and flip it around in the the egg. Then carefully take out of the egg bath and let drip dry a little. Then lay it carefully in the flour mixture and coat both sides with flour and spices. You can immediately put this into the saute pan. Repeat with all of the slices and put in saute pan(s). Cook each side for a few minutes until it browns. Flip over and cook the other side.
Next is the assembly. Prepare an oven safe casserole dish by rubbing a little oil around the bottom and sides. Treat this segment like lasagna assembly. Pour a thin layer of tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan. Make a layer with the zucchini slices next. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Repeat the process by pouring tomato sauce on top of this. Then add zucchini and cheese. Repeat until zucchini is completely used. Top with the last of the sauce and a sprinkling of cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted and browned to your liking. Remove from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes to let the ingredients get cozy with each other. Slice in and serve as a light dinner or add pasta or chicken on the side for a heartier dish.