Zucchini Parmesan

Zucchini Parmesan
  • 2 lbs. zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced into rounds ¼-inch thick
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for the topping, plus about ¾ cup more for layering
  • red pepper tomato sauce (recipe below, or whatever tomato sauce you love)

    for the red pepper-tomato sauce:

  • 2 red bell peppers, stemmed and seeded, diced to yield about 2 cups
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, diced to yield about 2 cups
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Arrange the zucchini in single layers on two Silat- or parchment-lined rimmed sheet pans. Season with salt and pepper on each side, drizzle each pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, toss to coat, then spread into an even layer. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove pans from oven and set aside.

  2. Reduce oven to 400ºF.

  3. Meanwhile, make the breadcrumb topping: toss the breadcrumbs with the ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

  4. Into a circular gratin dish (about 9 inches in diameter) or a 9-by-9-inch or similar baking pan, spoon a small amount of sauce (about a heaping ⅓ cup), then add a thin scattering of parmigiano, then a single layer of zucchini, shingling the slices slightly. Repeat until all ingredients are used, ending with a little sauce and cheese—you should have about 3 layers of zucchini. Top with the breadcrumb mixture.

  5. Bake until the mixture is bubbly and top is golden, 25 minutes or so depending on size of pan and thickness of layers. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. This also tastes great at room temperature.

    To make the sauce: Place peppers and tomatoes in a medium-sized saucepan or pot. Pour in ½ cup water and turn heat to high. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer, then turn heat down to medium high. Set a timer for 25 minutes. After about five minutes, the tomatoes and peppers will begin to release their juices, and the whole mixture should be bubbling. Adjust the heat if necessary so that the mixture stays at a constant bubble — medium to medium-high should do it. Stir every five minutes or so to make sure the tomatoes and peppers are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. If they are, add water by the ¼ cup.

    When the peppers and tomatoes are tender and nearly all of the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes and peppers are beginning to stick to pot, add the basil, butter, and oil to the pot, give it a stir, then transfer the contents of the pot to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Taste. Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper as necessary.

Read more (and see pictures of the entire process): https://www.alexandracooks.com/2016/08/05/zucchini-parmesan/#ixzz4IwIkyVPH