So I get Martha Stewart Living each month (so what!?). This month she had a French chef make a casual meal that included "zucchini rounds with roasted tomatoes" serves 8. I read the recipe, followed parts, eliminated others, added stuff. Here's my adaptation that was fan-fricking-tastic.
2 zucchinis sliced in 1/2 inch rounds
9 cloves of garlic
3 Tablespoons of pine nuts
3 sprigs of thyme (off my thyme plant)
3 teaspoons of fresh basil (I use Doret brand frozen basil as an alternative to fresh or dried. It is cheap and in the frozen aisle at Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup of water
1/3 cup chopped black olives
5 vine ripened tomatoes (about the size of a golf ball)
1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
1/3 of pkg of Boursin (herb or pepper)
Okay, my presentation was less regal than the French chef's but so be it.
Here's what I did.
Preheat oven to 400.
Chop tomatoes into quarters. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sugar 4 whole (peeled) cloves of garlic. Season with salt and pepper, toss, throw in oven in a small pan for 30 minutes. Note, the next time I will probably run the garlic through the press first.
Meanwhile, stovetop- add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet. Add zucchini in one layer. Salt, pepper, add in the 1/4 cup of water and 2 pinches of baking soda. WTF with the soda? Well the Frenchy said that it keeps the zucchini greener. It really did work. Cook the zucchini turning frequently about 15 minutes. Then put those puppies in an awaiting casserole dish sprayed lightly with PAM.
Meanwhile, take 2 more tablespoons of olive oil, the remaining 5 cloves (pressed or smashed) of garlic and all the pine nuts and heat for 3 minutes. Add in the olives. Mix, and set aside until the tomato mixture is done cooking. Once tomato mix is finished with it's 30 minutes in the hot box, add in the pine nut mixture to the tomatoes.
Okay it's assembly time now. Frenchy said to make little mounds of the tomato mixture on top of the single layer of rounds patiently waiting in the casserole dish. Yeah, easier said than done. I did attempt to do this but I think generally if you spread the mixture across the top of the zucchs, you will be fine.
This is all me. As Rosie and I surveyed the wondrous side dish, we said, you know what this needs? The answer (as is often the case in our house): Cheese. My first choice would have been Parmesan but we were out, and by happy accident, we had some left over Boursin. FABULOUS addition! We crumbled tiny pieces of the creamy bliss over the vegetables. I would say we used somewhere between 1/5-1/3 of the package. It wasn't a lot, but it was delicious!!!!
The glorious veggies need one more trip to the hot box. Put it in the oven for 10 minutes and serve. Seriously delicious zucchini dish.