Last night, I wanted to cook something with zucchini and tomatoes. I found this recipe, which looked very promising and with great reviews. Well… I’m reporting moderate failure …at least the way I did it. Let me show you the recipe as I did it, and then I’ll tell you what I did to save it.
- 6-8 small to medium size zucchini
- 4 big tomatoes, cut in 4-6 pieces each
- 2 onions sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- garlic, basil, red crushed pepper
- salt, freshly ground pepper
- grated Parmesan cheese
How to make: Put zucchini, tomatoes and onion in a roasting pan. I used Pyrex. Add olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, freshly ground pepper, red crushed pepper flakes. Add garlic and basil (I added the frozen pulps I keep in the freezer). Roast in a pre-heated 450 degrees F oven for 40 minutes. Add Parmesan when you serve.
Notes and tips: The original recipe recommended 20 minutes in the oven. When I checked in at 20 minutes, the zucchini was too crispy so I left it longer. The problem was that my pan had too much liquid from the tomatoes! The veggies were boiling in it. I removed most of it and put it back to continue cooking. So that was OK. When it was done, I found that the dish was a little too ‘peppery’ for a family with small children.
My advice if you do this (it IS a very easy and healthy dish): Use a baking ‘sheet’ as the original recipe says and lay all the veggies in a single layer. You may still have to watch out for excessive liquid. Some tomatoes can be a lot watery. Careful with the red crushed pepper. It’s hot, hot and your kids may not like it. So, take it easy.
I think this is similar to “briami” -which I love – and is similarly very easy to make. I find that all these traditional Greek vegetarian dishes need to be made at least an hour in advance and never served really hot – they just don’t taste as good when they are too fresh, especially the zucchini or eggplant dishes (hard to do if my family is around when it comes out of the oven!). Maybe this dish too would benefit from a little rest – did you try it a little later?
You’re right. These are not dishes to try right out of the oven. I tried it today and it did taste better (indeed, we rarely get to eat the food right out from the oven on weekdays). Still, you’d need to be alert about the tomatoes and how much water they’ll give to the dish.