When the final surge of summer’s bounty bestows upon you big fat enormous zucchinis so mindbogglingly huge it’s almost mentally insurmountable, what do you do?
Think of things to do with zucchini.
This is one of the things I thought of. My Aunt, whose garden is now overrun with the soon-to-be pumpkin harvest of the century, basically forced us to take on a haul of some of the gigantic zucchini hiding under the tangle of melon and squash vines. So with squash out the wazoo, it seemed clear that zucchini needed to take a much more prominent role in the kitchen. How about temporarily taking over where pasta once was?
Boom: summertime “lasagna.” This beautifully simple concoction is simply summertime treat layered over summertime treat layered over even more summertime treats. The garden offered me zucchini, tomato and basil, so that’s what I cooked.
While there are definitely some kinks in my zucchini noodle technique, which is currently quite primitive (any gluten-free/raw foodists out there with advice?!), this messy bake was actually delightfully delicious anyway. So I’m going to share the recipe with you with the addendum that this is not a recipe box recipe. This is a jumping off point for some summertime kitchen fun by no means meant to be followed. I mean, have you seen it? Sloppy, Emily:
Summertime Fun “Lasagna”
vegan, gluten-free, healthy healthy!
serves 2 if you’re starving, but really more like 3 or 4
- 1/4 yellow or white onion, half mooned — Fountain Farmers’ Market
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced into rounds — Green Aisle Grocery
- large zucchini, very very thinly sliced (lucky you if you have a nice enough mandolin to handle the challenge of an enormous zucchini) — Aunt’s garden!
- a few nice tomatoes, sliced — Aunt’s garden!
- 1/2 cup chopped olives (you could use capers too!) — Whole Foods
- around a cup oil-free basil “pesto” — the recipe from Oh She Glows here is awesome…so tasty!
- nutritional yeast — Whole Foods
- extra basil leaves — my garden!
- Preheat: how about 375 degrees?
- Take care of topping: saute onions with nonstick spray until soft, add garlic until fragrant and then let sit
- Prep pan: coat 9×5 baking pan (note you can double recipe and use a normal size baking pan!) with nonstick spray, just in case
- Layer: tomato, zucchini, pesto, olives, optionally a little of the onion, tomato, zucchini, pesto, olives, optionally a little more of the onion, tomato, zucchini, remaining pesto
- Top: with remaining onions and basil leaves
- Bake: cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes, uncover and then cook 10 minutes more
- Serve: with crusty bread and a fresh ground pepper
IMPORTANT NOTE: See how runny the above soup-agna turned out? Next time I’m going to, and I suggest you might as well, salt the zucchini first. Sprinkle kosher salt over your zucchini slices, let sit draining for 10 minutes, then dry off with towels. Lessen the moisture! You could seed some of the tomatoes, but tomato “jelly” is filled with delicious umami and wonderful nutrition, so I’d advice against it. But whatever you do, have fun. THAT is a rule.