would love some recipes for zuchini and /or eggplant
sounds so healthy
had lunch with friends tday and they spoke of this dish
thanks so much
Linda in Tennessee
Here's my recipe:
Zucchini (or Eggplant) Casserole (Parmesan)
Somehow food tastes better when you dont call it a casserole. The term "zucchini parmesan or eggplant parmesan" conjures up images or a wonderful Italian dish. The term "zucchini casserole or eggplant casserole" conjures up images of there being too many zucchinis or eggplants to know what to do with. Anyway, this is a tasty dish that can be made with either zucchini or eggplant. Serves lots.
4 medium zucchinis or 2 large eggplants
2 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Â½ lb ground beef, cooked and drained*
Â½ lb loose hot Italian sausage, cooked and drained*
1 onion, diced and sautÃ©ed until translucent
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 lbs part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
Â¼ to Â½ cup Romano cheese
2 lbs part skim mozzarella, shredded
1 quart spaghetti sauce (I use my own spaghetti sauce or the arrabbiata sauce)
1 cup mushrooms, sliced and sautÃ©ed, optional
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons oregano or marjoram
2 tablespoons dried parsley
* You can use 1 lb of ground beef or 1 lb of hot Italian sausage, or 1 lb of sweet Italian sausage.
Slice the zucchini into Â¼ inch discs (for eggplant cut into Â¼ inch discs; salt each side of eggplant and set in a colander lined with paper towels. Let the eggplants "sweat" for at least an hour rinse and pat dry. Then continue with the directions for the zucchini). Dip the zucchini slices into the slightly beaten egg and then dip coating the entire disc in bread crumbs. Fry in hot olive oil until golden brown. Place cooked sliced on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain grease. Repeat until all the zucchini slices are cooked.
In a large mixing bowl, mix ricotta, parmesan, Romano, eggs, basil, oregano, parsley and all but one cup mozzarella. Mix until well blended. In a separate bowl, combine cooked ground beef, cooked hot sausage, onion, garlic, mushrooms (optional) and zucchini (optional). Mix until combined.
In a 9x13 inch pan, spread about 1 cup of spaghetti sauce along the bottom of the pan. Layer fried vegetable slices (about â of the zucchini or eggplant) on the bottom of the pan, overlapping slightly. Spread Â½ of the cheese mixture over the zucchini or eggplant. Spread Â½ of the meat mixture over the cheese layer. Spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce over the meat layer. Repeat layering with fried veggies, cheese mixture, meat mixture and sauce. Place the last layer of zucchini or eggplant on top and top with remaining spaghetti sauce.
Cover with tin foil. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F. Remove foil carefully and top with 1 cup mozzarella. Return to oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer. Let stand for 30 minutes before cutting (this will prevent you from having a liquidy casserole).
Here are a few zucchini recipes that are very good...
Gratin of Zucchini & Tomatoes
Contributed By: EatingWell
Two of summer's stellar vegetables are layered here, along with a few other choice ingredients, to make a delicious baked gratin. As soon as it's pulled from the oven, fresh Parmesan cheese is sprinkled over the top.
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
2/3 cup Fresh basil leaves
1 tsp Fresh thyme leaves
2 cups Fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs, divided
1/2 cup Finely chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia
3 Large ripe tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp Red-wine vinegar
1/4 tsp Salt, divided
3 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 Medium zucchini (about 1 3/4 pounds total), sliced on the bias about 1/4 inch thick
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2. Put garlic, basil and thyme on your chopping board; mince well. Spread half the breadcrumbs evenly in the prepared baking dish. Strew onion over the breadcrumbs. Distribute half the diced tomato over the onion, then sprinkle with half the garlic-herb mixture. Sprinkle with vinegar and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a third of the zucchini; you want it to saute, not stew, so do not crowd it. Saute, turning the pieces once, until golden and not quite tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. When the slices are done, use a fork to transfer them to the gratin, overlapping the slices. Cook the remaining zucchini in two batches, each time using 2 teaspoons oil. Strew remaining tomatoes and garlic-herb mixture over the zucchini. Season with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and a grinding of pepper. Toss the remaining 1 cup breadcrumbs with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle over the gratin.
4. Bake the gratin until bubbly hot, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with Parmesan.
Note: I didn't have fresh thyme so I just used a couple of pinches of dried, it was still very good!
Zucchini and Country Bread Lasagna
From Lidia's Family Table by Lidia Mattichio Bastianich
Another wonderful way to use bread--something that we always have in abundance in our house, fresh, day-old, and dried--is an element of many savory dishes. It is used in appetizer gratinate, soups, and salads, and day-old bread is great in desserts.
Here bread slices are the base and substance of a summertime vegetable lasagna, in place of pasta. I give you two versions, one with raw zucchini, one with briefly sautéed eggplant slices. Assembly and baking are the same for both. You could multiply the recipe and make this as a big party or picnic dish. It's wonderful warm or at room temperature as a hearty side dish.
To vary: use egg-battered zucchini strips (page 21) for scrumptious lasagna: or roast the eggplant instead of frying it: or combine; or combine zucchini and eggplant (sauté zucchini slices first, though.)
The good flavor comes from Summer Tomato Sauce. The recipe on page 256 will give you enough for a big casserole and for several pasta dishes too. But you could use other sauces, such as a marinara or a plain tomato sauce.
FOR THE ZUCCHINI:
2 pounds firm, unblemished zucchini (6 small or 4 medium)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
FOR ASSEMBLING THE LASAGNA:
12 or so day-old slices of country bread (from a 1 1/2-pound loaf)
2 tablespoons soft butter, for the baking pan
6 cups Summer Tomato Sauce (page 256) or Anytime Primavera Sauce (page 125) or marinara sauce (page 130)
2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano, or more to taste
A 9 by-13-inch Pyrex baking pan or a similar shallow casserole with
Wide, heavy-duty aluminum foil
Rinse and dry the zucchini, slice off the stems, and trim the blossom ends. With a sharp long-bladed knife (or a mandoline if you have one) cut very thin lengthwise slices, about 1/8 inch thick. Put them in a large bowl, sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon of salt over them and the 2 tablespoons of oil, and toss to coat the slices with the seasonings.
ASSEMBLING THE LASAGNA:
Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°. Cut the crusts off the bread slices. If they are soft and fresh, you can dry the slices briefly in the oven, but don't let them get crisp or brown.
Butter the bottom and sides of the baking pan generously. Spread
a cup of the tomato sauce in a thin layer in the bottom of the pan.
Cover the bottom with a single layer of bread slices. Trim the slices
and cut them in pieces so they fit close together and lie flat (but you
don't have to fill every small crack or hole). Spoon about 2 cups of
sauce onto the bread and spread it evenly.
Make a layer of zucchini (or sautéed eggplant), using half the slices. You can lay them crosswise or lengthwise in the pan, whichever way fits best. Overlap the slices as necessary to make an even layer that completely covers the sauce. Press down gently to condense the lasagna and make more room in the pan, then sprinkle 1 cup of grated cheese evenly over the top.
Now repeat the layering: Arrange another layer of bread slices and trimmed pieces. Cover the bread with 2 more cups of sauce, spread evenly. Lay out the rest of the zucchini (or eggplant) slices in an overlapping layer. Spread the remaining tomato sauce, about a cup, in a thin layer, Sprinkle another cup of cheese (or more!) in a generous layer over the top of the lasagna.
BAKING THE LASAGNA:
Cut a sheet of aluminum foil about 2 feet long-preferably from a wide roll of heavy-duty foil. Press the foil so it hugs the sides of the pan and bend it to make a "tent" over the lasagna that doesn't touch the surface anywhere.
Bake the lasagna covered for about 45 minutes, giving the zucchini plenty of time to cook. Remove the pan from the oven; carefully unfold the foil from the sides of the pan and lift it off completely. Don't get burned by the pan or the steam that is released -- keep your face and hands out of the way. And don't let the foil mess up the cheesy topping! (In a glass casserole you should be able to see the sauce bubbling up around the sides of the pan.)
Return the lasagna to the oven and bake for another 15 to 20
minutes, or until the top is deep golden-brown. Let the casserole settle for a few minutes before serving (it will stay hot for some time.) Cut in squares or rectangles of whatever size you like, and lift out individual pieces with an angled spatula.
THE BEST BREAD FOR COUNTRY BREAD LASAGNA
A hearty European-style chewy wheat bread, made with all-white or white and whole-grain flour, is best for these savory lasagne; Cut the slices yourself and let them dry a bit. Day-old (or briefly oven-dried) 1/2-inch slices will soak up lots of the vegetable juices and give the lasagna a marvelous texture. Don't get a skinny or a low loaf with lots of crust, though - like a baguette or ciabatta - since the crust is trimmed away. Instead get a lofty bread - a large round or oval loaf for big slices with lots of "insides."
Skillet Gratinate of Zucchini and Chicken
from Lidia's Family Table
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or chicken tenders*
3 small or 2 medium zucchini (1 pound, or slightly more)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or more if needed
1 cup or more flour, for dredging
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
For the Sauce:
3 tablespoons soft butter
1 cup marinara sauce
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup white wine
12 small fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup vegetable stock, if needed
*3 small whole chicken breasts, or 6 breast halves, weighing 2 pounds. If you have only larger breasts halves (some are 8 to 10 ounces), you can slice each in 2, on the bias, to make 2 portions.
Recommended equipment: A 14-inch heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet or sauté pan for 6 portions; or a 12-inch pan for 4 portions.
Preparing the Chicken and Zucchini
Place rack in the center or upper third of the oven and preheat to 425º.
If the chicken breasts are whole, cut them in half. Trim off any bits of fat, skin, or tendon. Flatten each breast half with a mallet (or the flat bottom of a heavy pan) to an even thickness, about 3/4 inch.
Trim the stem and blossom ends of the zucchini and wash well. Slice across the squash on a sharp angle, creating long ovals, 1/4 inch thick. You should have about twenty pieces at least 3 inches long, and a few shorter pieces from the ends.
Place 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in the skillet, tilt to coat the bottom, and set it over medium heat.
Toss about half the zucchini pieces in flour to coat well (set flour aside to use for chicken), pat off any excess, and lay them in the pan. Keep the heat moderate, and let the pieces caramelize slowly for about 4 minutes. Turn when the edges are nicely browned on the underside; fry for about 2 minutes on the second side. With a slotted spatual, lift the pieces to a plate or tray (no paper towels are needed here) and salt lightly. Fry the remaining zucchini ovals in the same way and salt them. While frying, monitor the heat, keeping it high enough to brown the zucchini but not let them burn.
When the zucchini are done, turn off the heat but leave all the oil in the skillet.
Starting on the Stovetop
Have all of your gratinate and sauce ingredients handy to the stove.
You should have at least 2 tablespoons of live oil in the skillet (add a bit if needed). Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and set the pan over medium-low heat.
Salt the chicken pieces lightly, flop them in the dredging flour to coast on both sides, and pat off excess. When the butter is just beginning to sizzle, arrange all six cutlets in the pan. Cook them gently for 1 1/2 minutes, then turn them over; they should be very lightly colored, with no browning.
Maintain the gentle cooking whiles you assemble the gratinate.
Sprinkle the chicken again with salt (using 1/2 teaspoon total for the dish).
Spread a heaping tablespoon of tomato sauce on top of each cutlet.
Arrange the zucchini slices on top of the sauced chicken, overlapping the ovals so each portion is neatly covered. Use all the zuchinni.
Now raise the heat a bit and begin to develop the sauce:
Sprinkle the red pepper flakes on an open "hot spot" in the skillet where it will sizzle and toast briefly.
Drop the remaining butter, in small pieces, in between the layered cutlets.
After a few seconds, pour in 2/3 cup of the wine around the cutlets and let it heat briefly, 10-20 seconds.
Spoon the rest of the cup of tomato sauce into the pan (not on the chicken).
Bring to a simmer, then drop the mint into the sauce all around the pan.
Give the pan a gentle shake or two, to mix and emulsify the sauce ingredients.
Finally, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of grated cheese evenly over each zucchini-topped mount.
At this point, the sauce should be about 1/3 inch deep in your pan or even higher, coming well up the sides of the chicken cutlet. If not, pour in the rest of the wine and as much hot vegetable broth or stock as necessary. Raise the heat again to bring the pan sauce to an active simmer.
Finishing in the Oven
When the sauce is simmering, place the skillet in the oven. (Put the handle in front and the food in the back.)
Bake for about 10 minutes--and have thick pot holders or dry towels in hand before you touch the handle or the skillet!--then open the oven and check the pan.
Right on the rack, give the skillet another gentle shake. There should still be plenty of sauce, and the cheese should be lightly colored. If the sauce appears syrupy, or close to evaporating, add more vegetable broth, stock, tomato sauce, or wine to raise the level.
Bake for another 8 to 10 mintues, until the chicken is fully cooked and tender and the gratinate top is deeply and evenly browned. If the cheese layer still appears too light, raise the heat in the oven as high as possible (turn on the broiler if it is top-mounted) and bake briefly until it is as dark and crispy as you like.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven, handling it with plenty of thick cloths. I carry it right to the dining table, where it makes a beautiful presentation. While it is on the table, leave the cloths overing the hot handle. With a large, angled spatula, lift one portion of chicken-and-zucchini gratinate onto a dinner plate, then spoon over it some of the sauce.
Linda, I was just talking with my sister last night and she made this dish, it can either be made with eggplant or zucchini. She is watching her wieight and gave this a try. We didn't discuss amounts, but I think it's a recipe you could wing!
In a 9x13 slightly greased pan place a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.
Slice zucchini or eggplant very thin enough to make several layers. Place one layer over sauce.
Combine 8oz of mozzerella cheese (shredded) with 1 cp. parm. cheese and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. S&P to taste.
Sprinkle over eggplant/zucchini layers.
Bake 350 for about 30-40 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.
This is a quick skillet zucchini lasagna recipe I developed based on a friend's skillet lasagna recipe - it basically just uses zucchini in place of noodles:
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. diced onion
1 med. zucchini, sliced fairly thin
2-4 c. canned diced tomatoes
6 oz. tomato paste
8 oz. ricotta cheese
4 oz. shredded Italian 4-cheese blend
1 Tbsp. basil (plus additional)
1 Tbsp. oregano (plus additional)
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt (plus additional)
Brown the beef, onion and minced garlic in large skillet, salting periodically as you normally would (this is the "plus additional" salt; but maybe you don't usually salt ground beef at this point (I always do) and want to omit this step). Reduce heat. Remove excess fat. Add 1 tsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. basil and oregano, tomato paste, and tomatoes; mix thoroughly. (In place of the tomatoes and paste you could of course use tomato or pasta sauce.) Arrange zucchini slices evenly over meat. Spread ricotta cheese over zucchini; sprinkle with more basil and oregano (this is the "plus additional" for basil and oregano). Cover and cook over low heat until zucchini slices are soft (about 20 minutes, but it depends how thick/thin your slices are). Sprinkle Italian cheese blend on top (or just use something like mozzarella and maybe a sprinkle of Italian herbs if desired). Cover, turn off heat, and let sit until cheese melts.
Here's a vegetarian sandwich idea (based on my lunch out today LOL!) The restaurant used a soft garlic foccacia roll (not very thick) - sliced in half. It was spread with a roasted red pepper puree - probably some garlic and olive oil in that - then some baby greens including arugula and chopped fresh basil, 2 generous slices of mild warm brie, and sliced sauted eggplant and zuchinni (2 pieces of each).
It was scrumptious. I'm going to make some at home for dinner soon, maybe with some kind of soup to go with it.