When you go on vacation for close to three weeks and you ask a 10 year old to water your plants and to PLEASE "pick any vegetables you want and take them home to your mother" guess what? You return to every vegetable you left....DUH!!! I forgot....most kids really don't like vegetables. I think he took great pleasure in watch my zucchinis grow an inch a day. So, I returned to GIANT zucchinis.
I decided they would be best grated into something, so I made a crust of grated zucchini (4 cups) some cornmeal, eggs, and cheese. I baked it in the oven until it was, uh, crusty!
It made a nice, firm, cheesy crust. I had to refrain myself from eating the crust by itself. I think I'll make some crust squares this week just for munchin' on.
The next step was to brown some meat and onions, and add a can of tomato sauce. The recipe called for ground beef but I thought that was boring so I used a spicy Italian turkey sausage. When the meat is cooked you put it on the crust, top with cheese and some bell peppers. Bell pepper and ground beef = boring, so I roasted some poblano peppers and topped the meat with slices.
Baked in the oven for about 20 minutes until the cheese melted and served with a salad. It was quite tasty and even better the day after.
Only 10 more GIANT zucchinis to go.
ITALIAN SAUSAGE CASSEROLE
4 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided in half
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided in half
2 TBSP. cornmeal or polenta
1 pound ground Italian sausage (I like a good quality turkey sausage)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 TBSP. olive oil (if using turkey sausage)
1 can (15 ounces) Italian tomato sauce
2 poblano chili peppers, roasted, peeled, and sliced
Place zucchini in strainer. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Squeeze out moisture. Be sure to squeeze all the moisture out so the crust will not be soggy.
Combine zucchini with the eggs, cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, half of the mozzarella and half of the cheddar cheese. Mix well and press into a greased 13x9 inch baking dish.
Bake uncovered at 400~ for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the sausage and onions in olive oil, over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain off fat. Add tomato sauce and mix together. Spoon over zucchini crust.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with the roasted pepper. Bake 20 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted and the meat is heated through.