Zucchini Parmesan

I realize zucchini season is basically over at this point, but this recipe is definitely one to file away for next summer, especially if you’re one of those people with your own garden who inevitably ends up swamped with tons of zucchini during the summer. This is a great way to use up those zucchini and it’s WAY more interesting than just making another loaf of zucchini bread. This dish is a creative, summery twist on chicken or eggplant parmesan.

This would be a great meal option for a time when you have to feed both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Just leave the prosciutto slices out of some of the stacks for a vegetarian option.

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This recipe has quite a few steps and honestly it’s pretty time consuming. It’s not at all hard to make, but it’s certainly not something you’re going to whip up on a weeknight in 30 minutes or less.

I didn’t follow the sauce recipe that’s included below. I had several batches of my own homemade marinara in the freezer, so I just used that. This sauce recipe would be great if you have fresh tomatoes from your garden. If not, I’m sure you could substitute a large can of crushed tomatoes for the fresh ones or you could just use a jar of your favorite tomato sauce.

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Having my finished food look like the picture that accompanies the recipe in a book or magazine is one of the best feelings in the world. It’s a feeling I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of.

Zucchini Parmesan

From: Food Network Magazine, July/August 2014
Serves: 6

For the Sauce:
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ tsp fennel seeds, chopped
¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flakes
3 lbs. plum tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
Kosher salt
½ c. chopped fresh basil

For the Zucchini:
2 medium-large zucchini
¾ c. flour, all purpose or whole wheat
2 large eggs
1/3 c. milk
2 c. panko breadcrumbs
½ c. grated parmesan cheese
¼ c. chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, grated
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil, for frying
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced into 12 pieces
2 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced and torn into 18 pieces (optional)
2/3 c. ricotta cheese

  1. Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the garlic is lightly golden, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes begin to sizzle, about 5 minutes. Add half of the basil and ½ c. water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally and smashing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Stir in the remaining basil and season with salt.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400. Trim the zucchini and halve crosswise, then slice lengthwise into 18 strips, about ¼ inch thick. Put the flower in a shallow dish. Whisk the eggs and milk in another dish. In a third dish, combine the panko, parmesan, parsley, garlic, ½ tsp salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Working in batches, dredge the zucchini in the flour and shake off the excess. Dip in the egg mixture, turning to coat and letting the excess drip off. Then dredge in the panko mixture, pressing to help it stick. Set breaded zucchini aside.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the zucchini in a single layer and shallow fry until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.
  5. Lay 6 pieces fried zucchini a few inches apart in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top each with a few tablespoons of the sauce, a slice of mozzarella and a piece of prosciutto. Repeat the layering (zucchini, sauce, mozzarella, prosciutto), then top with the remaining zucchini. Top with a little more sauce, sprinkle with parmesan and dollop with the ricotta.
  6. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Top the stacks with more prosciutto. Serve with the remaining sauce.
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