Aug 1, 2009

Zucchini time!

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!

Zucchini Casserole

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.


Wanda said...

Jacquelyn...I just made spaghetti with lentil sauce and a side dish of stir fried zucchini, peas and black olives for lunch...that is when we have our main meal of the day. Similar tastes we do have! :)

I will try your your casserole!

Jacquelyn said...

ooooo...spaghetti with lentil must tell me how to make this! And I suppose you used whole grain pasta too! This REALLY sounds good!

Wanda said...

I just cook fresh seasoned lentils and add them along with sauteed onions, mushrooms, black olives and green peppers (all or just whatever I have on hand) to Prego spaghetti sauce. Lentils cook in 20 minutes or less, it's so very easy and improves any sauce...and yes it's whole grain pasta most of the time, except when making macaroni salad or pasta salad, for that we still "need" the regular. :)

Jacquelyn said...

Wanda, one of these days I'll post my very easy recipe for spaghetti sauce.
When you say "fresh seasoned lentils" do you start with dry beans, soak them, or what? I like beans but I don't know that much about how to fix them!

Ellie said...

Looks really tasty, mom. I saw some of your dishes pattern at a consignment shop in VA last weekend, and almost bought it for you, but wasn't sure what you had/still needed.