This time of year we all have an excess of zucchini from our gardens. Some might even be overgrown. But not to worry, any size zucchini can be used for this recipe. If the zucchini went to seed just cut the vegetable in quarters lengthwise and cut out the center seed chamber. The surrounding flesh is perfect to eat. Of course if you buy your zucchini in the supermarket they are nice small young vegetables. After you cut the top and bottom off you can slice them in your mandolin.
Grandma Isabella would make this as one of her many side dishes for a family meal or special occasion. But she would egg batter the sliced zucchini and fry it till golden before layering it in this “zucchini lasagna”. I found slicing the zucchini really thin, 1/8″, and layering it raw with the other ingredients works really well and saves a step frying them. I also add slices of cooked ham to the layers to add some protein to the dish so it would even be a perfect main dish with some crispy Italian bread.
Zucchine Al Forno
- 4-5 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8″ thin lengthwise (a mandolin slicer will help here)
- 3/4 pound cooked sliced ham
- 1/2 pound sliced mozzarella, sliced thin
- 1/2 pound sliced provolone, slices thin, Boars Head if available
- Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 beaten eggs
Pour a thin layer of olive oil on the bottom of a 9×13 Pyrex or metal dish. Dip the sliced zucchini in the beaten egg and cover the bottom of the dish, alternating direction to cover. Salt & pepper to taste. Add a layer of the cooked ham. Then add a layer of the sliced mozzarella. Then a good sprinkle of the Pecorino Romano Cheese.
For the second layer add a sprinkle of the olive oil. Then add the egg dipped zucchini, salt & pepper, cooked ham and a layer of the sliced provolone. Add a good sprinkle of the Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese.
Continue the layers, alternating the mozzarella, provolone and grated cheeses. Finish with a layer of the mozzarella or provolone and sprinkle of olive oil.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.