I bought zucchini a few days ago because well its the end of summer and I wanted zucchini again before the fresh vegetable went obsolete (except for the occasional teeny tiny one the grocery store would have that had a million dents and brown marks in it making you think they had just found it in the back somewhere and decided to put it out thinking no one would realize its January and there aren't any fresh vegetable gardens anywhere near you)
Well I was hoarding these zucchini for the perfect side dish...well it never popped into my head so it was getting to the point where I was either going to have to cook them one of the normal ways I always do (grill, fry, roast, etc.) because if I didn't they would turn into molded mush in the fridge in a few days. No one wants molded mush for dinner. So I was throwing a dinner together because the hubby said he was getting tired of pot pie. Well I wanted pot pie...so my heart wasn't into this dinner. It's Thursday and my first week back at school with students so of course I was tired and not really in the mood to cook. Well miraculously I came up with what I'm sure is a recipe that is already out there because I feel like I've pinned something similar on pinterest but it was surprisingly delicious and felt like I really put some thought and effort into it. So here is the recipe:
3 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
extra virgin olive oil
half a sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl put the olive oil, salt and pepper and zucchini and toss to coat each piece. This will ensure evenly cooked zucchini (I didn't do this but thinking it might be more evenly cooked if I had and the salt and pepper would distribute evenly too). Then in a lightly oiled casserole dish (less than an 8 inch) stack and place the zucchini slices in rolls like you would crackers. You should have about 3-4 rolls of tightly packed zucchini slices. You should mostly see the edges and not the centers of the zucchini. Then sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper on top then add the crushed Ritz crackers to the top. Dot with butter and bake at 350-375 for about 30 minutes or until the zucchini is tender. The baking time will also depend on how thin and even your zucchini slices are.
This was a very easy recipe. I sliced the zucchini by hand just because I didn't feel like digging out my mandolin slicer. You could use either. If you've ever had deep fried or pan fried zucchini this will remind you of that. The crunchiness of the cracker topping gives it the feeling of having been deep fried or pan fried but I think it is a lot healthier with the olive oil and without the breading. Just a little bit of the crunchy topping goes a long way. I hope you really enjoy this recipe and I'm sure you can add spices or flavored butters to enhance the flavor of the zucchini.