Zucchini Parmesan

Appetizers, Dinner

    I’m a child of the 90s. I grew up listening to Nirvana, Boys to Men, SWV and had Quicksilver t-shirts and wanted to wear Dickies like Gwen Stefani…you know the ones like in No Doubt’s video “I’m Just a Girl,” and of course in the sixth grade my favorite movie was Clueless. I even went so far as to ask my parents for her closet. Which by the way, is still incredible. Can you imagine what you could do nowadays with an iPad. Best. Closet. Ever.

    Anyway, so when a friend recommended Alcicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Diet, I figured I’d give it a go. I sat and read the first few chapters; it was informative, impactful, taught me things I never knew about veganism and the possibilities of it changing your health.

    I felt kinda empowered and so for the next twenty minutes I started considering turning vegan. It kinda made sense. I’d been sufffering with allergies for a few months and maybe me eating dairy and meat had something to do with it. I love animals and don’t want to live a life hurting them. So I started to think; going through all the things I’d have to give up.

    Chicken? Eh..I mean, I love buttermilk fried chicken, but I don’t eat it all that often and I could maybe live without it.

    Steak, hamburgers, short ribs. Uhhh…I started to immediately mourn In-N-Out and the truffle burger from Umami Burger, which really deserves its own category of awesome–it’s life changing, really. BUT I could probably eat less burgers. My thighs would be grateful, though I am doing yoga everyday. Have I told you that? Whatevs. No big deal. I just work out or whatever.

    And then fish, sushi, shrimp…LOBSTER! Ugh. This would also suck. But I mean, she has a cookbook–I’m sure she has some cool stuff in there that would help me forget about lobster drenched in salty butter. Or not.

    I also figured maybe I’d even document my vegan journey on this said blog. Maybe I’d figure out how to make “cozy” and comforting vegan food. I dunno…I could like revolutionize vegan food. Who knows!

    Then…I thought of cheese…and butter…and cheese…and cheese.

    And then I remembered a slice of vegan cheese I had a few months ago that was seriously an insult to normal cheese because it’s nothing like it. They really shouldn’t even be able to use the word “cheese” on the packaging. Total insult.

    I eat cheese with everything. If something kinda sucks, I put cheese on it and melt it. Voila! Problem solved. I’m not really sure if I’ve ever met a problem cheese couldn’t solve.

    Heads of nations should bring melted cheese to their meetings. I bet we’d live in a more peaceful world. Seriously.

    My favorite thing to pair cheese with is vegetables. It’s kinda like cheddar on broccoli…it’s only sorta healthy but all sorts of amazing.

    So when I saw a recipe for Eggplant Parmesan, I decided to swap out the eggplant for zucchini because the devil made eggplant (along with raisins), in my humble opinion.

    And it was incredible. Instead of being mushy and squishy, the zucchini held up nicely. The zucchini was soft on the outside but when you bit through it there was a good amount of crunchiness going on. It was topped with marinara sauce, cheese, basil and more cheese.

    When it came out of the oven, the cheese was all melty and delicious. The only regret I have was not scooping this over a bowl of pasta. It’d be a great way to jazz up some noodles. Or if you wanted to have a lighter dinner, you could pair it with a salad.

    Oh I guess you figured I couldn’t do the vegan thing. I just love cheese that much.

    Zucchini Parmesan

    Recipe adapted from Goop by Giancarlo Giametti

    Print this recipe!

    Yields 4

    3-4 zucchini

    Coarse salt

    1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

    Olive oil

    2/3 cup of your favorite tomato sauce*

    1 large ball fresh mozzarella (about 4 1/2 ounces)

    Small handful of basil leaves, roughly torn

    3/4 cup finely grated parmesan (about 2 ounces)

    Slice the zucchini into about 1/3″ discs. Sprinkle slices with a small pinch of coarse salt on each side.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Lightly dredge the zucchini slices in the flour. Heat 1/4″ of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When a pinch of flour sizzles on contact, add the zucchini slices in a single layer, turn the heat to medium-high and cook for about one and a half minutes on each side or until dark golden brown. Drain the zucchini on paper towels and repeat in batches until all of your zucchini it is cooked, adding more oil as necessary.

    In a 13″ x 9″ baking dish (or cast iron skillet), arrange as many slices of zucchini as can fit snugly in a single layer. Top each slice with a small spoonful of tomato sauce, a few small pieces of torn mozzarella, a bit of basil and a dusting of parmesan. Continue the layers, evenly distributing all the ingredients, until everything is used up.

    Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is melting and bubbling and the house smells divine

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72 Comments

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  • Reply Spreeretail March 4, 2020 at 9:22 am

    It looks really good and delicious. Love this. Thanks:)

  • Reply BikersGearGermany February 15, 2020 at 7:56 am

    It looks delicious . i tried it at least once soon. Thanks for sharing with us:)

  • Reply Difficult Simplicity July 24, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks for the recipe and I’m probably one of the few that likes eggplants. It’s pretty good battered and fried. Also you should know that you don’t have to go vegan to eat healthy. I see people everywhere thinking that it’s either eat meat or go vegan but that’s just plain dumb. If you love meat products but can’t quit eating it, then don’t. Simply reduce how often you eat it while including more healthier foods in your life. It’s not too complicated and probably much better than the vegans beating themselves over this. I might also include that usually companies will milk money off people like them, having a higher price for the product, which is the same with the people that have to have gluten-free food. The prices are much higher.

    I guess I better end my little rant thing before it goes to 50 other subjects. Once again, thanks for sharing this recipe you found.

  • Reply Jen July 29, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Holy cannoli. This was so good! And I am usually a…less than average cook. This came out perfect, although I did burn one batch of my zuccs while frying them up (I told you. Less than average.) Luckily we currently have them come out of our ears so no problem! Thanks for the great recipe. My husband was impressed. 🙂

  • Reply CGriff July 28, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Just tried over pasta and it was DELISH. Thanks for the great way to use a few zuccs!

  • Reply Sharon July 27, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    My Italian mother-in-law has been making squash parm for more than the last 25 years that I’m aware of. It’s superior to any eggplant version to be had anywhere, even her own! She cuts the squash lengthwise into thin strips. A mandolin would work (she still does this by hand/eye). Then she flours and fries. There’s something about the thin strips that’s unparalleled.

  • Reply debbie September 12, 2012 at 10:40 am

    I had been vegetarian for 25 years and an italian, so lived off of cheese! I’m vegan now (a little less than 2yrs). After the first 6-8mts I convinced myself that I could grant myself a weak moment and sneak a bite of 5 cheese ziti. It was horrendous! After your body detoxifies from animal products, your mouth gets use to fresh and healthy foods and the taste just isn’t pallatible! I’m not here to convince anyone to be vegan, but since everyone agreed that the. big biz of dairy farming is cruel, instead of deciding to turn the other way (let’s face it that’s the same crime as joe paterno), why not find a local dairy farmer with humane practices? The products are cleaner and taste better, the animals are happier and you’re helping the environment and a local farmer! Its a win win, just like this recipe without the cheese!

  • Reply zofrdk1glgf1 August 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I must say i like your blog, very good put up always keep in the fine job. May book-marked your web blog.

  • Reply Becca September 8, 2011 at 1:55 am

    So the basil I bought at Kroger (oh how I wish I hadn’t killed my basil plant!) that tastes like anise, but it added a really interesting flavor to the original flavor scheme. Might be worth adding just a touch next time I get better basil. 🙂

    • Reply Adrianna September 8, 2011 at 2:32 am

      Basil that tasted like anise? Weird. Definitely try again…maybe just skipping the basil. 🙂

  • Reply Nancy September 7, 2011 at 1:37 am

    I could never be vegan, let alone vegetarian, but I still love vegan and vegetarian meals. I was told about this book Vegan Soul Kitchen when I was in Memphis. Let me put it to you this way when a local tells you that the vegan soul food is heaven they are not wrong. I think anyone who likes this site should check it out. If I was to ever be vegan I think this book would be my bible.

    http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Soul-Kitchen-Creative-African-American/dp/0738212288#reader_0738212288

    • Reply Adrianna September 8, 2011 at 2:32 am

      I love vegan food, despite not being a vegan. I’ll definitely check it out! TY! xo

  • Reply Tearlach August 4, 2011 at 8:21 am

    it’s really good and delicious

  • Reply Audrey Grace June 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks so much for all your great recipe ideas! I saved a few of them and cannot wait to try them. I believe this has to be the first one I’ll make.

    p.s. I wanted to be Gwen too! I feel you on that note.
    Keep the yummy food coming!
    Best-
    Audrey

  • Reply Amy Reynolds November 17, 2010 at 9:28 am

    I have been a vegetarian for 13 years….but definitely cannot go without cheese! It makes life delish! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

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