We are invited to a dinner tonight with some Italian cousins, and I was asked to bring a side dish. The main event is going to be brocioli, which in all honesty, I've never had it before. It is pounded, stuffed, and rolled beef of some kind! I looked it up on the internet only to find there are many different ways to make it, and I have no clue which recipe my cousin, Teresa, will use. But she is a really good cook, so I was a bit intimidated as to what I should bring as the side dish. If I make some kind of pasta to go with it, (my specialty is lasagna or stuffed shells) I am afraid it would look like I was trying to "out-do" her, and I definitely don't want that! (I'm saving my competitive gene for our family reunion next year. Last year I won the "boss of the sauce" award for my spaghetti sauce, but Teresa ALWAYS wins the dessert contest, and next year I'm planning to enter my cannolis and see if I can beat her!--see blogpost "Holy Cannoli! dated March 15, 2009)
"Lord, help!" was going through my brain all day yesterday, and by last night I got an idea. My sister-in-law, Marcie, had given me some zucchini and some yellow squash, so I started hunting for a casserole recipe. As is typical for me, I can't leave a recipe alone, so here is how I improvised one to make it "mine". I have a small dish of it baking in the oven right now so I can try it. If it isn't good, I don't know what I'll do, because I have a large casserole ready to bake so I can bring it hot tonight. By the time I am finished typing the recipe, the trial casserole will be ready for tasting!
6 cups cut up (peeled) zucchini
2 cups cut up yellow squash
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
2 tsps. chopped garlic
3 cups seasoned croutons
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 beaten eggs
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. dried sweet basil (crushed between your hands)
salt and pepper to taste
Toss everything in a large bowl and turn into large casserole dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Sprinkle generous amount of Parmesan cheese on top. Bake 30-45 minutes in 350 degree oven. Veggies should be slightly crunchy and not mushy!
Here it is, or I should say, here is WAS! This is really good, and passed the taste test from both me and hubby. I'm very excited and I know it will be a hit tonight, without overpowering the main event! Let me know if you try it and what you think.