The farmer’s markets are bursting with fresh delicious fruits and vegetables, and it’s hard to know where to begin. The most generous of the vegies, of course, is zucchini, and as usual the big question is what to do with all that bounty. Here are a couple of ideas that my family has always loved, and yes, we call it “hot dish.”
Zucchini Hot Dish with Goat Cheese
4 small to medium zucchini, tops trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick (I slice them is rounds, but slicing them length-wise like lasagna noodles works too).
1 medium to large onion, sliced into thin rings
2 to 3 ripe tomatoes thinly sliced (Romas work best because they are meatier and have less juice)
goat cheese or feta crumbles
1/2 cup pesto
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly oil a baking dish and lay down a layer of zucchini slices. Next, scatter a third of the onion slices. Drop some dollops of pesto on top of the onions. Sprinkle chunks of goat cheese on top of the pesto and then finish with third of the tomato slices. Do a second layer of zucchini, onion slices, pesto and goat cheese followed by tomato slices. Make a third layer, and put the last of the goat cheese on top. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and some parmesan cheese (gives it a nice crust). Bake until the zucchini is tender and the bread crumbs are brown and crispy (about 35 minutes). Let it rest and set for a few minutes before serving.
I usually serve this as a meatless main dish, but it would also work well as a side dish. Try it and let me know what you think.