Zucchini and Ricotta Stacks
My friend recently gave me a zucchini from her garden -- a 20 pounder! I mulled over what to do with this massive gem; zucchini parmesan didn't feel original enough and I wanted to highlight the zucchini's tender and mild flavor. So here, inspired by the flavors of Greece, I've come up with a light but satisfying zucchini stack (served either as a side dish or entrée) that transports you to a happy place after a long day. I recommend enjoying this dish outside.
Jules's Zucchini and Ricotta Stacks
Serves 4 (click on thumbnail to see larger image)
1. Preheat oven broiler. In small bowl, combine salt, pepper, oil, sugar, and oregano. Stir well.
2. Line zucchini slices on cooking sheet. Brush both sides of each slice very liberally with the oil mixture. Place under broiler until slightly charred (that's flavor!) and tender -- about 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of each slice. Turn oven down to about 350 degrees after broiling step is complete.
3. While zucchini is cooking, mix onion and ricotta cheese until creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. In another small bowl, toss diced tomatoes with garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Stir well.
4. Now it is time to assemble. Brush a shallow baking dish with a thin layer of good olive oil. Layer one piece of zucchini on the bottom then top with ricotta mixture then tomatoes. Layer over another piece of zucchini. Simply top with a spoonful of the ricotta mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, or opt to make your stack taller with another layer of ricotta, tomatoes, zucchini, and Parmesan cheese. Create as many stacks as your zucchinis allow. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and and stacks are warmed through.