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 Jennifurla August 30, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    This looks drop dead good!

  • Reply Nicole August 30, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    When you talk 90’s, you’re speaking my language! Clueless is still awesome and I think we all wanted Cher’s closet 🙂 This dish, btw, looks fantastic and is a perfect idea for zucchini season.

  • Reply Nadette @ Eat, Read, Rant! August 30, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Adriana, you crack me up. mostly because i agree with like 99% of the points you brought up in this story/recipe. I mean, I like animals in general. And I’m aware that the modern meat industry literally resembles something from a horror flick, and that’s why I refuse to watch any of that literature, because even though it’s cruel, I’m still going to eat a hamburger. And you’re right, the devil did invent egglplant, and raisins (and zucchini as far as i’m concerned, and definitely mayonnaise..but i digress). but at the end of the day, even IF i could give up my biannual trip to 5 guys, it’s cheese and butter that i could NEVER give up. I think you and I have the answer for world peace. Cheese and bacon. because I literally believe that Bacon makes the world a better place, and frequently sight places of unrest that don’t eat pork (like Iraq) as examples to prove my theory. Sorry for the novel, but I just had to share, lol. And now I’m gonna try this recipe with portabellos to replace that devil’s fruit zucchni.

  • Reply DessertForTwo August 30, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks for the cookbook review. I’ve been curious how her new book was.
    And by the way, Clueless was (and possibly still is) the best movie ever, Boys to Men and Nirvana totally rocked, and Gwen Stefani was my idol too. We’re 90s sisters!

  • Reply sobrina August 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I loooove zucchini — this looks amazing and simple, I will have to give it a try!

  • Reply SugarFoot Designs August 30, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Looks so yummy. Perfect for a vegetarian option as well.

  • Reply Michelle August 30, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Wow – just read the last comment. You’ve kind of opened a can of worms, eh? Wanna talk about stay-at-home moms vs. working moms in your next post? : ) I kid!

    I agree with you that it would be good for my body to go vegan but cheese would definitely be my sticking point too. I just can’t see my world w/o it. I don’t want to see my world w/o it! Personally, I enjoyed this post and I love the zucchini dish. Looks delicious!

    • Reply Adrianna August 31, 2010 at 11:15 am

      thanks! total can of worms! oh lordy!

  • Reply jen August 30, 2010 at 11:08 am

    please! don’t change a thing about your blog, i love it too much!

  • Reply whitney August 30, 2010 at 10:47 am

    I used to LOVE cheese. Seriously. I know this blog isn’t about veganism or its support or making people feel bad about their choices and that’s not what I’m about either. But, the reason I’m vegan is that I can’t be a part of the veal industry. And let’s be honest, the veal industry only exists as a by-product of the dairy industry. What else to do with all those newborn male baby calves? And really…as a woman, I also can’t be a part of an industry that uses a machine literally called the “rape rack.” But I guess you can. And that’s your call. I miss cheese. A lot. But it isn’t (and will never be) worth the cost.

    • Reply Brendan August 30, 2010 at 11:18 am

      I too read this post as CLEARLY being a tacit endorsement of ‘rape racks’.

      It’s a good thing you’re not about ‘making people feel bad about their choices’…

    • Reply Joan August 30, 2010 at 11:29 am

      I don’t really see the big deal. I bought a “rape rack”* off lat night TV about a year ago and I LOVE it! Everyone told me I’d just end up hanging my laundry on it, letting it gather dust in the basement. But oh no! I literally use it every day. It’s especially good for relieving stress, and I’ve never been in better shape!

      I have to admit, you lost me on the whole cheese and baby calf rant. I guess it helps me burn off cheese calories from time to time, but I couldn’t see a cow getting any practical use out of this thing. Anyways, those short commercials can only show you a little bit of what your “rape rack”* can do.

      *On further investigation, I own a “Nordic Trac” which I’m guessing is similar.

  • Reply Joanne August 30, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I too occasionally think things like Oh I could totally be vegan. Lies. Cheese would totally get in the way.

    this looks fantastic! Definitely health food. Definitely.

  • Reply Kayla @ Let's Live Wholesome August 30, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Yeah, I was vegan for about 2 months, until I couldn’t handle not eating eggs anymore 🙂

    I’m simply allergic to dairy, so I haaaave to use fake cheese. Thank God for Daiya brand; it’s a lifesaver.

  • Reply Maria August 30, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Great way to use up the summer zucchini! I might make this for dinner tonight! Thumbs up:)

  • Reply sarah August 30, 2010 at 6:53 am

    I agree whole heartedly!

  • Reply Kim @ Two Good Cookies August 30, 2010 at 6:44 am

    This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try it with the zucchini, mozz, parm and basil which are all in my fridge! And my new cast iron pan!!!

  • Reply Signe August 30, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Christ, this looks sooo good! Going to give it a go with some fresh pasta 🙂

    And I agree, I could survive just fine as a vegetarian but vegan is just out of the question! Just can’t live without cheese and iced coffee with cream!

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