11 September 2009

Nonnie's Cheesy Zucchini & Onions

The title pretty much says it all! If you're looking for a new way to use up the last of your summer squashes, here's a great idea for you. My Nonnie gave me the idea as I lamented the one lone zucchini in my fridge - our telephone conversation went something like this:

Me: "Nonnie, one zucchini isn't enough for Andrew and I!"
Nonnie: "Well, do you have an onion? Slice up an onion and mix it in."
Me: "I do have an onion! Good idea!"
Nonnie: "Oh and then mix in cheese. Definitely cheese."
Me: "Yum, cheese would be good! I have shredded cheese."
Nonnie: "Lots of butter! And garlic! That's the way the old ladies used to do it! (she is talking about the old Italian ladies in her family)"
Me: "That kind of makes the whole 'fresh veggie' thing kind of pointless, doesn't it?"
Nonnie, ignoring my comment: "If you have basil, add that in too. And cheese! Lots of cheese!"
Me: "I love you Nonnie!"

So, there you have it! For those who don't speak Nonnie, here's my semblance of a recipe!

Nonnie's Cheesy Zucchini & Onions
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced into coins
1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 tbsp. butter (you can sub EVOO, but really, it's not that much butter!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 leaves fresh basil, minced
2/3 c. shredded cheese (I used mozzarella), divided
1/4 c. Italian breadcrumbs

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until it starts to brown. Once carmelization begins, add garlic and zucchini. Salt and pepper vegetables liberally. When veggies are fully cooked, dump them into an oven-safe serving dish.

Stir half the cheese into the vegetables. Add the basil, stir to combine, then top the mixture with the remaining cheese. Add breadcrumbs to the top. You may want to dot with butter if you are a fatty like me. Otherwise, more power to you.

Broil on high for a few minutes (maybe 5?) until breadcrumbs are golden brown and cheese is melted.

Andrew and I agreed it wasn't the healthiest way to get our greens, but it's definitely yummy. I wouldn't eat zucchini this way every time I make it, but it's a nice treat. Enjoy zucchini the way "the old ladies" meant you to!

The best part? This was a completely thrown together side dish made up of items I already had in my fridge and pantry. Don't you love it when a plan comes together?

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