The zucchini was amazing at the farmer’s market last week so I picked up a few pounds and have been exploring different ways to enjoy their goodness.

Zucchini with spaghetti squash last Wednesday.

Zucchini in a grilled veggie sandwich last Thursday.

And again today in this zucchini tomato bake.
Pause here for a Tamar lip smack.   

The dish was inspired by a recipe provided by the BREADA Red Stick Farmers Market.  (They are amazing – farm fresh produce at great prices – plus recipe ideas on how to cook the veggies. I luv our farmer’s market!!!)

The dish is really simple to make. All you need is a few zucchini, an onion, garlic, a tomato, tomato sauce, part skim mozzarella, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, olive oil and fresh basil.

Preheat oven to 350. Wash and cut 3 medium zucchini into thin rounds (about 1/4 inch – I used my crinkle cutter).  Finely chop a medium onion and saute these two ingredients in a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil (~2 tsp).

Let this go about 3 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.  
Add 2 cloves minced garlic and continue to cook another 2 minutes.  
Add 1 chopped tomato and cook a bit more (the liquid of the tomato will slow down the saute).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  
Stir in a 6 oz can of tomato sauce and 1 tsp of Italian seasoning.  Reduce the heat and simmer until zucchini are almost totally cooked through.
While this is cooking, shred ~3 oz mozzarella cheese (Note: Cheese you shred yourself is much better than the pre-shredded cheese in a bag.  To make semi soft cheeses like mozzarella easier to shred, put it in the freezer for a few minutes to harden up a bit.)  
Layer a casserole, (I used an 8″x 8″ dish), with half the zucchini mixture on the bottom, topped with half the cheese, followed by the rest of the zucchini mixture and finally the last of the cheese.
Bake the dish uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted, slightly browned and bubbling around the sides.
Sprinkle with a light a chiffonade of fresh basil on top and serve with a piece of toasted bread to sop up the sauce.
Got a favorite zucchini recipe?  Please share.

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