Good Saturday morning, friends! Hope your weekend is off to a good start. My weekend started yesterday. My husband, our daughter Liz and I rose at 5AM and escaped to a nearby beach for the day. What a perfect day! The weather was warm, but the water was grand! We took a nice long walk, indulged in some beach combing, soaked up some sun and renewed our spirits. Nothing restores me like a day at the beach. Throw in some fabulous local seafood and a little ice cream cone, and this girl is happy, happy, happy!
Several of you have asked me for the zucchini casserole recipe I referenced in an earlier blog post. This is the time of year when zucchini comes on strong. Sometimes I feel like Forrest Gump when I think about all the many ways to prepare zucchini: “There’s zucchini bread, zucchini pancakes, zucchini pickles, zucchini muffins, and of course, zucchini casserole. “
I invented this recipe years and years ago when our kids were small and not overly fond of zucchini. But they did love pizza! So I combined fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and spices to transform the humble zucchini plant into a meal that my family would enjoy. I fix this quick and easy meal once a week during the summertime. It’s become a real favorite, and I hope you will enjoy it, too. The trick is not to overcook the squash. You want it to be cooked through, but not mushy. Without further ado, here’s the recipe, scaled to serve 3 to 4 adults. I generally serve it with penne or tortellini and a tasty chicken sausage that I purchase at my local Trader Joe’s. (You can use Italian Sausage, too….or just serve as a main course, which is what my husband and I often do.)
4 medium zucchini, organic if possible, cut into 1/4″ slices
1/2 a medium onion, diced
1 red or yellow or green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves of fresh garlic, sliced
4 Roma tomatoes, cut in 8ths, or mini heirloom tomatoes cut in half
olive oil…a splash or two or three or four…..
fresh grated parmesan cheese
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cut into rounds
fresh basil…a nice big handful, remove stems and chop salt and pepper to taste.
In a big skillet, add olive oil, onions, garlic and peppers. Saute over medium heat until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the zucchini and saute for about 5 minutes, but don’t brown the veggies. Add salt and pepper to taste. (I use Jane’s Crazy Mixed Up Salt, available on the spice aisle in most grocery stores.)Toss in the tomatoes and basil, give it a good stir, turn down the heat and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid, add the cheese, turn off the heat, replace the cover and let set for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. I used to add mushrooms in with the zucchini, but my husband can’t eat them anymore, so I leave them out but they are so good in this dish!
That’s it for me today, folks! I have to hit the kitchen and get ready for our big August family birthday party. Between July and August, we celebrate 7 birthdays, five of which take place during the month of August. Since Liz is in town, we’re combining all the celebrations into one big party later today. We’ll be grilling out burgers, and I’ll be making some different salads as sides. But the main event is dessert: cream puffs! Homemade and covered with a chocolate ganache that is to die for! So I need to put on my apron and go get busy. Please let me how you like the recipe…(and if you don’t like it…no need to share! LOL) Thanks for taking time to stop by the blog, and thanks for all your kind comments. They make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers. Until next time…