February 23, 2013

Cheesy Zucchini Casserole

And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered. But most of all, I learned that life is about sitting on benches next to ancient creeks with my hand on her knee and sometimes, on good days, for falling in love.
Nicholas Sparks

  Cheesy Zucchini Casserole

For the days devoted to a dreamy laughter and carefully whispered  words, for hidden promises and substantially treasured hopes, you need food that's equally homey and comforting. Something that's light and  unpretentious, but still unique in its own way.

This might be chocolate. It usually is chocolate. Just one bit at a time and you're diving into a sinfully pleasureful moment. Blink. The moment becomes a lifetime and you start feeling that beautiful deep darkness penetrating into your blood, filling it with delicate sweetness as if it was everything... in the world.

Yes, it usually is chocolate. But let's just pretend that we are, like everyone else, on a spring diet and we need something not from a dessert shelf. Something light, but still nice and crunchy. Still warm and  comforting.

I guess, this zucchini casserole will work just fine in this case. I love it mostly because of that crispness on top and nicely toning trio of farmer cheese, crackers and Parmesan. But be aware, that zucchini could be very easily replaced with any other member of squash family, and if you decide to blend a few of them, the result might be even better. Also, farmer cheese can be substituted with ricotta without any serious damage to this dish. Just don't elminate the Parmesan and crackers (though, you might use crushed pretzels as well), cause they are playing the lead in here.

Cheesy Zucchini Casserole

Cheesy Zucchini Casserole
adapted from Food and Wine

2 lb (1 kg) zucchini, cut into 1-inch dice
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cup / ~3 oz (~100 g) finely crushed crackers
1 cup / 6 oz (170 g)  farmer cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup (40 g) Parmesan, grated

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C) temperature.

In a medium pan, heat butter and olive oil. Add chopped onions and cook until transparent. Then drop in zucchini dices, season everything with salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft enough; for about 10-15 minutes. Then set aside and let them cool slightly.
In the meantime, mix together crushed crackers and farmer cheese. Stir half of this mixture into the vegetables. Pour in beaten eggs, season generously with salt and pepper, and mix it thoroughly.
Transfer the mixture into the baking dish and top with the remaining cheese and cracker blend. Coat with grated Parmesan and then bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy on top. 
Let the casserole stand for 5 minutes, then serve warm.

Cheesy Zucchini Casserole

If you liked this, I could also recommend you:
- Yellow Wax Been Crumble
- Parmesan Baked Tomatoes
- Sorrel Gratin

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful and just the type of recipe I was looking for to use some first-of-the-summer zucchini! :)