I used to make this deliciously simple zucchini bake dish all the time but I forgot about it until I was gifted a sh*tload of zucchini last month…I had zucchini coming out the wahzoo. I beavered away in the kitchen making zucchini salad, zucchini chocolate cake, zucchini curry, zucchini fritters (anyone else thinking of Forrest Gump right about now?) when something jolted my memory and a little voice in my head said ‘hang on!’ – what about zucchini/tomato bake? And I’ve made it three times since in the last few weeks, it’s that good.
Note, it might look a tad dry on top, but trust me: Once you cut into it, the moist goodness of the melted zucchini and tomato hits you. I love the crunchy topping as a contrast. Mmmm.
Zucchini – I used one giant zucchini which was perfect (it was a whisker away from turning into a marrow, otherwise use 4-5 medium sized zucchini should be spot on)
4 medium sized ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup of dried breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
1/2 tsp dried herbs
Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees bake (normal bake).
- Slice the zucchini into lengths, aiming to have them about 5mm thick (basically you don’t want ’em too thin, that’s all otherwise when they cook they’ll overcook and go a tad mushy).
- Plonk the flour on a plate and season it. Lightly coat the zucchini in the flour and place the now floured zucchini to one side on a clean plate.
- Heat a large frying pan and add a good glug of olive oil (Top tip: I usually have two frying pans on the go to speed things up!) Shallow fry the zucchini on both sides until golden brown. Set zucchini aside on some paper towel so the excess oil is absorbed.
- Slice the tomatoes (again, you don’t want ’em too thin!).
- Grease a medium-sized casserole dish. Place a layer of zucchini on the bottom and top with the tomatoes. Season the tomatoes well. Do another layer of zucchini and tomato and repeat these steps until you’ve got no veges left. Finish with a tomato layer on top. If you have fresh basil on hand, whack some torn up leaves in between the layers (I didn’t… but this takes the flavour to a whole new level).
- In a small bowl plonk in the Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and herbs. Mix together.
- Top the zucchini/tomato dish with the cheese/breadcrumb mix and place in the oven.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.