Monday, January 02, 2006

Verdure Al Forno

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How to Handle a Zucchini Explosion

I have never posted a recipe on my blog before, but I was so impressed with this one I just had to for several reasons. First of all, as a girl, I remember zucchini as being one of the easiest vegetables to grow in the garden. There was not only an abundance, there was an over abundance to the point that dispensing of it could become quite the challenge. Now that I am a city girl (only by circumstance, mind you!) I still buy zucchini, but I have been wishing I knew some different ways to prepare it. As providence would have it, I received "Everyday Italian" by Giada De Laurentiis as a gift, and it just so happened that the first recipe to catch my eye was Verdue Al Forno. I prepared it tonight for my sons, and let me tell you it did not disappoint!

I know this post is a wee bit late for you gardeners out there, but spring is just around the corner!

2 t. extra-virgin olive oil
5 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 lbs. total) cut crosswise in 1 inch thick slices
1/2 t. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 t. black pepper, plus more to taste
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. grated mozzarella cheese
1 c. grated fontina cheese
6 T. grated romano cheese
1. c. plain dried bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Coat the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish with the oil. Arrange a single layer of the zucchini slices to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with one third of the salt and pepper. Pour over 1/3 cup of the heavy cream and sprinkle with one third cup each of the mozzarella and fontina. Sprinkle with
2T. of the romano then with 1/3 c. of the bread crumbs. Repeat layering two more times in this way. Place the baking dish on the baking sheet and bake uncovered for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Just some personal notes - my corner produce market didn't have anything as fancy as "fontina" cheese, but it still tasted great with a mixture of mozzarrella and *wince* cheddar. Also on most of my layers I used a vegetable peeler to stripe the zucchini before I sliced it. I forgot on a little bit of the final layer and found that the "striped" slices were much easier to deal with as far as eating.


madcapmum said...

Anything with cream and cheese has to be pretty good - even zucchini! I don't grow the stuff myself, but my neighbour is always waving one over the fence at me in August. Now maybe I'll take it. Thanks!

Constantine said...


Amy said...

I agree with Costa. Yum!