IMG 03361edited thumb Zucchini Tomato Bake

Do you have a garden? I have been gardening together with my parents for the past 5 years – my dad prepares the soil, my mom and I plant -  and I can’t describe the amount of excitement and pride that I feel when I see results.

Take for instance this Zucchini Tomato Bake – the zucchinis and tomatoes in this dish all came from our vegetable garden.

*On a side note: You know, I always forget to pick the zucchini on time, and when I do pick it, it is as long as my 3 year old. Honest. I can’t believe how big they can get over night.

But, the tomatoes…ohhhh the tomatoes…wow! To say that they are delicious would be an understatement. Juicy, yet firm, sweet, yet tangy. The perfect balance.

To add, you know you’ve got something good when you all run to the garden, pick a vegetable and eat it right there and then. No washing, cutting, plating.

What’s better is when you prepare something with those vegetables and there are no leftovers. This dish was polished off in one sitting. That’s also very rewarding.

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But, I’ve come to realize that if I want this family to enjoy veggies more often, (summer is almost over and our garden is almost empty) I must pair those veggies with cheese. And crunchy bread.

The first time I made this dish, I sprinkled the crumb mixture over every layer and across the top, thinking that it may add more crunch. Didn’t happen. I liked it, but the crumbs in between the layers were soggy. The next time I made it I put the entire breadcrumb mixture on top of the casserole and that was waaaay better. It’s up to you, though. You can try it both ways and see which one works better for you. You can also use different cheeses, but I recommend trying the Monterey Jack; it gives it a sharper kick.

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Zucchini & Tomato Bake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized zucchinis, sliced to 1/4-inch thickness
  • 5-6 tomatoes, sliced to 1/4-inch thickness
  • Kosher Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • 2 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Lightly grease a casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • Arrange half of the zucchini slices in the casserole dish, lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange one-third of the tomato slices on top of the zucchini slices, lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Repeat layers, tomatoes should be the last layer. *Lightly season each layer with salt and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of cheese, bread crumbs, garlic, and basil.
  • Add the melted butter to the breadcrumbs mixture and mix well until incorporated.
  • Sprinkle the entire mixture on top of the vegetables.
  • Add the rest of the shredded Monterey Jack Cheese on top.
  • Drizzle a bit of olive oil across the entire casserole, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
  • Sprinkle some fresh basil leaves on top and serve as a main course or a side dish to any meal.
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21 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Tara August 29, 2012 at 9:25 PM - Reply

    Totally loved it!!! I had a little goat cheese in the fridge, which I added and put Romano in with the crumbs. So quick and easy!! We all gobbled it up!!!

  2. Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen August 23, 2012 at 9:23 PM - Reply

    Mmmm…what a delicious looking seasonal casserole! :)

  3. Nami | Just One Cookbook August 23, 2012 at 3:39 PM - Reply

    I’m jealous of your family garden! It’s a wonderful way to teach children about food we eat too. I live next to the canyon where we have wild animals who eat our plants! So gardening is like a dream to me. It must be so nice to use your own veggies to make this delicious food. The flavor is simple, not over killing the ingredients that you can appreciate the natural flavor. Love this recipe!

  4. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen August 23, 2012 at 1:41 PM - Reply

    Perfecto!

  5. Liz August 23, 2012 at 9:09 AM - Reply

    I’m so jealous of your garden, Kate! I have not gotten my usual tomato donations from friends this year due to the drought :/ Nothing better than delicious garden tomatoes and your casserole looks fantastic~

    • Kate@Diethood August 23, 2012 at 11:16 AM - Reply

      Liz, I can probably count how many tomatoes we had in total … this drought killed everyone’s garden :(

  6. Kate August 23, 2012 at 7:18 AM - Reply

    This is beautiful! Great seasonal dish and I just adore those plates. I should really invest in some pretty plates. They’re captivating.

  7. Amy @ fragrantvanillacake August 22, 2012 at 9:32 PM - Reply

    This sounds delicious Kate! Tomatoes and zucchini are so wonderful this time of the year I try to eat as much as I can! Love the simplicity of this, my Mom used to make something similar and it was always a hit :)!

  8. Zoe August 22, 2012 at 5:05 PM - Reply

    Greetings from Australia!

    Totally agree with you that gardening is so rewarding. We get fresh foods and lots of family time together. Funny that we are expecting the Spring in a few weeks time and we are sowing zucchini and tomatoes seeds soon. This recipe will waiting for me to cook when our garden is ready for harvest during Xmas :D

  9. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective August 22, 2012 at 1:35 PM - Reply

    Mmmm, perfect for the loads of tomatoes and squash I have coming out of the garden right now!

  10. Tara Noland August 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM - Reply

    This looks so good and so easy. Great way to use summer produce. I am going to add it to my Mouth Watering Mondays post this Monday. Come on by to see it at http://www.noshingwiththenolands.com Cheers, Tara

  11. Kristy August 22, 2012 at 8:51 AM - Reply

    I just love your pictures. They always make me so hungry! The plate is gorgeous too. And this dish is one that we would certainly enjoy. The bread crumbs were a great idea!

  12. Ramona August 22, 2012 at 8:36 AM - Reply

    Love dishes that come from a home garden! This looks perfect! :)

  13. Shea Goldstein August 22, 2012 at 8:08 AM - Reply

    Looks fantastic, as usual! I love the Jack cheese in it ;)

  14. RavieNomNoms August 22, 2012 at 7:44 AM - Reply

    What a perfect idea!! Looks sensational!

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