Monday, August 22, 2011

Zucchini Parmesan Stacks

I'm not much of a gardener, but my mom, Peej, is. She always has a million flowers in bloom and a huge garden full of vegetables. So, last week she brought me three HUGE zucchinis that she had grown. So, I tossed & turned trying to decide on what to make with these big babies. I ended up making Zucchini Parmesan Stacks and a few other things that I will post later on this week. I have always loved anything parmesan (especially eggplant), so I knew this would be good. I fried the zucchini in panko, so that it was extra-crispy, and then stacked them with homemade marinara sauce, fresh basil leaves, and gooey mozzarella. The dinner turned out great... I might actually prefer this over eggplant now! Enjoy :)

Zucchini Parmesan Stacks
For the Marinara:
2 15oz Cans of Whole, Peeled Tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
1 6oz Can of Tomato Paste
4T Fresh Parsley, Chopped
2T Fresh Garlic, Minced
1t Dried Oregano
1t Salt
¼t Black Pepper
6T Olive Oil
½C Sweet Onion, Finely Chopped
½C White Wine
6 Basil Leaves, Roughly Chopped
For the Zucchini:
1 Large Zucchini, Cut into ½inch Thick Slices
2C AP Flour
2 Eggs
¼C Milk
3C Panko Breadcrumbs
1C Parmesan, Grated
Salt, For Sprinkling
Olive Oil, For Frying

For the Zucchini Parmesan:
Fried Zucchini Slices
Prepared Marinara
Thick Slices of Fresh Mozzarella
Fresh Basil Leaves (plus some chopped for garnish)
Olive Oil, For Garnish
Balsamic Vinegar, For Garnish
1. To Make the Marinara: In a food processor place Italian tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped parsley, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. In a large skillet, over medium heat, sauté the finely chopped onion in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the blended tomato sauce and white wine. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add in the fresh basil. Keep on low heat until ready to stack your zucchini parmesan.
2. To Make the Zucchini: Slice the zucchini to about ½inch thick. Next, you have to set up a battering station. I use 3 pie tins. For the first station, I mix the flour. For the second station, I whisk together the eggs and milk. For the third station, pour the contents of one box of Panko breadcrumbs with the grated Parmesan. Now, place the slices of zucchini into the flour mixture, then into the egg wash, and finally the panko (making sure they are completely covered). Put the breaded slices on a tin foil-lined baking sheet with a cooling rack on top, and then put the pan into the refrigerator and let the slices rest for about 15-30 minutes. In a medium sauté pan, heat about 2 inches of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil has heated, fry the zucchini slices for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden-brown & crispy. Place them onto a baking sheet & sprinkle with salt. Keep them warm in the oven while you fry the rest of your zucchini.
3. To Make the Zucchini Parmesan Stacks: Stack the fried zucchini in a baking dish with the marinara sauce, fresh basil leaves, and mozzarella. Sprinkle with some Parmesan and broil in the oven until the cheese has melted and it has started to turn golden-brown. Serve on a plate with more fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil & balsamic vinegar.

source: marinara sauce.

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