I have a serious problem.
When I go to local farmer’s markets this time of year, I can’t control myself. I buy everything!
My head goes into a spin –
“Oh, I’m going to make this”
“Look how beautiful and FRESH these veggies are!”
“I haven’t made anything with these in a long time…”
And that’s how it goes until the cart is full.
Yep, I have the best of intentions of spending my whole week in the kitchen and then life gets in the way. Add to that, the fact that I HATE to throw anything out and I find myself looking for recipes to help me unload the veggie bin.
This week’s bin special was zucchini and tomatoes. Zucchini bread was out of the question as we are all on diets here (this week!). Browsing through Pinterest and some of my favorite food blogs, I found the perfect solution at Smitten Kitchen. I could use up my zucchinis, tomatoes and the added bonus, it was gluten free! Of course, I tweaked the recipe a bit by using cherry tomatoes and brown rice. It was a delicious side dish to our meal of grilled pork loins.
Slice three medium size zucchinis in 1/4″ slices, place on a foiled line cookie sheet and spray the zucchinis with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Roast in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
Slice a pint of cherry tomatoes in half, place on an foil lined cookie sheet and repeat the olive oil, salt and pepper process. I took a few sprigs of fresh thyme and included them in the roasting pan. Roast the tomatoes for 10 minutes in a 450 degree oven. No need to turn the tomatoes. (I’m lucky in that I have two ovens and roasted the zucchinis in one and the tomatoes in another. You can roast both tomatoes and zucchinis in one oven – on separate racks.)
Prepare the rice according to the box instructions. I had a new discovery last night with Uncle Ben’s Boil in a Bag Brown Rice! Typically, I’m a purist in cooking my brown rice for 45 minutes and blah, blah, blah. This time I took a shortcut and was pleasantly surprised. The rice cooked in 12 minutes and tasted great. In a recipe like this, it cuts corners while you are preparing the rest of the recipe.
Saute the onions, garlic and olive oil over medium heat until tender (about 10 minutes).
After the rice and onion mixture has cooled, combine in a bowl with the fresh thyme, eggs, cheese, oil, salt and pepper.
By now, the veggies are roasted – with browned edges and a sweet, smokey flavor. (Yes, I was nibbling at them while I was cooking!)
In an spray oiled casserole dish, spread the rice mixture on the bottom followed by a layer of the roasted zucchini.
Top with the roasted cherry tomatoes and the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.
Serve immediately. As I mentioned, we had this as a side dish to grilled pork last night. It certainly would make a delicious meal on it’s own! Try it either way!
Pinterest is my new obsession! I have quite a collection of recipes and inspiration started, check my boards out!
- 1 cup cooked brown or white rice
- 3 pounds zucchini, sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
- Cook rice according to package instructions.
- While rice cooks, place zucchini on a foiled lined cookie sheet that has been sprayed with olive oil spray.
- Spray the tops of the zucchini with oil spray, sprinkle with Kosher salt and cracked black pepper. (Don’t over salt as the roasting will make the veggies salty too)
- Repeat the process with the tomatoes on a sprayed, foil-lined cookie sheet.
- Salt and pepper the tomatoes.
- Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme.
- Roast zucchini in upper third of oven and tomatoes in lower third, turning zucchini once halfway through roasting, until tender and light golden, about 10 minutes for tomatoes; 20 minutes for zucchini.
- Leave oven on.
- While veggies are roasting, cook onion and garlic with ½ teaspoon salt in 1 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir together cooked onion mixture, cooked rice, eggs, thyme, ¼ cup cheese and 1 tablespoon oil.
- Season with cracked black pepper.
- Spread rice mixture in a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
- Top with roasted zucchini.
- Top with roasted tomatoes and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese.
- Bake in upper third of oven until set and golden brown, about 20 minutes.