Baked Zucchini and Tomatoes
(6 to 8 servings)
2 cups chopped onions
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp butter
4 cups chopped peeled tomatoes, fresh or canned
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp chopped basil, or 1 tsp dried
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup soft fresh breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In medium-size pot, cook onions, pepper, celery and garlic in 3 tbsp butter until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, basil, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Scrub and trim zucchini and cut them into 1-inch rounds. Dredge rounds in flour, then shake to remove excess. Quickly brown rounds in oil and transfer to paper toweling to drain. Add drained slices to tomato mixture and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, until zucchini is tender but not mushy.
Pour mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with a mixture of the crumbs and cheese. Dot with remaining butter. Bake until thoroughly hot and bubbling. The top should be golden brown.