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

Leave a Reply

  • Reply kjpugs September 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    This recipe looks AWESOME! One question though- did you layer the peices of zucchini on top of one another when putting them in to bake? It says to continue with the layers but I wasn’t sure if you meant layering on cheese/basil etc, or if you stacked them to fit ’em all in a pan.

    Can’t wait to make this!

    • Reply Adrianna September 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

      Oooo…I see how that’s a bit confusing. No, it’s just one layer of zucchini with all the stuff stacked on top of it: marinara sauce, cheese and basil.

  • Reply Alejandra September 20, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I’m making this for dinner tonight!

  • Reply Vera September 16, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Was that little asterisk to tell us your favorite tomato sauce? Did I miss it? I want to know!! Will be making this soon. I just realized three of my recipes on next week’s menu have zucchini in them – must be a random craving or a sudden surge in zucchinis on blogs.

    • Reply Adrianna September 17, 2010 at 10:57 am

      Oh it was a typo! It’s gone now. I just used a good quality jarred marinara sauce that I got at WF. I’m in love with zucchini right now and you’re right, it’s all over the blogsphere at the moment.

      • Reply Vera September 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm

        Made this tonight and it was fabulous! Thank you!!

  • Reply Jeremy September 6, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Tried it. Loved it. Must have it again. Keep bloggin!

  • Reply Liling September 4, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    It looks real yummy!

    but perhaps be a little nicer to eggplants!

  • Reply Nicole September 4, 2010 at 11:08 am

    So I random search for recipies on peoples blogs. So far this is the second time I have come across a great recipe on your blog! Awesome huh?! So I want to mention that I really wanted to make this, and it was still pretty early in the AM to actually have lunch, so I cracked a few eggs on top and had it for breakfast! Thanks for the great idea! Eat on!

  • Reply Marta September 1, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Hi girls! Spain here! I just made this delicious recipe to my family and they loved it! I have to thank you tons, especially since im not a super cooker. Easy and awesome recipe.
    Keep going girls!

  • Reply Signe September 1, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Tried this one and it was absolutely amazing!
    Thanks a lot 🙂

  • Reply Charlotte August 31, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    Thank you for your comment on my blog! It’s fairly new so I’m always excited to see any recognition. Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables, and although I don’t think the devil invented eggplant (have you ever had it smoked?!) my love for zucchini is far greater. And with cheese being my weakness, this looks phenomenal! I will definitely be giving this a try next time I buy zucchini

    • Reply Adrianna September 1, 2010 at 8:32 am

      I’ve never had it smoked. I’ll have to try it that way though I’ll admit I’m super skeptical.

  • Reply M. August 31, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Vegetable dishes are so versatile and it seems like there are endless combinations of flavors to try…. it’s still not enough to make me want to turn vegan 🙂 rarely eat meat, but I still love cheese and seafood, so would have the same kind of dilemma as you did, if I was to turn vegan.
    And in recipe like the one above, I would definitely miss the real cheese!

  • Reply Sandy a la Mode August 31, 2010 at 10:33 am

    last week i just did a post on zucchini recipes! and now i can add this to my collection, the parm looks heavenly!!

  • Reply Megan August 31, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I have been trying to find a recipe like this for over a week! So happy I found this one. I love zucchini! This might be dinner tonight!

  • Reply Betty @ scrambled hen fruit August 30, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    I bet I could get my hubby to eat zucchini like this! Delicious!

  • Reply Katrina August 30, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I’ve only ever made eggplant parm before. This is a great idea!

  • Reply ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska August 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    This looks sooooo yummy! I may be trying this soon- you know, to use a vegetable instead of white pasta with my sauce and cheese. 🙂

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