And tonight's timbale is one more good reason why - the kitchen smelled heavenly! It's a sort of crustless quiche, shredded zucchini and onion soaked in eggs, milk and cheese. (And the recipe suggests eggplant and spinach so look for those down the road too. And, hmmm, what about beets?)
It was easy-easy to make ... either for tossing in the oven immediately or assembling ahead of time or even baking in advance. I used a standard pie plate but ramekins might be great for company, fewer portions or 'portion size management'.
OH: and if you think this sounds good but a bit time-consuming, check out Day 72.
RECIPE for ZUCCHINI TIMBALE with CHEESE
Liquid-release time: 1 hour
Assembly time: 5 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes
Time to table: About 2 hours
2 pounds zucchini, shredded (see ALANNA's TIPS)
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic from a jar
8 ounces grated cheese (see TIPS)
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup fine bread crumbs (I used panko)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Toss together the zucchini, the onion and salt in a collander. (Go ahead, get in there with your hands, it'll speed the job.) Let it rest in the sink for an hour. After an hour, grab clumps of zucchini over the sink and squeeze, releasing as much liquid as possible.
Mix the remaining ingredients (I did this ahead tonight) and combine with zucchini. Transfer to a lightly buttered pie plate or quiche dish and bake at 350F for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. The recipe suggests serving is either hot or cold, I liked it both ways.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
Grating: I'd pack my Cuisinart for a desert island but it isn't worth the bother for soft zucchini - tonight, cleaning and grating five good-sized zucchini took only six minutes. (Yes, I really do time things when I think they matter!) That said, when it came time to grate the cheese, too, I wondered if I'd made a mistake. I don't think so, because the manchego was also a snap to grate and the dishwasher was already plenty full. That last, in fact, was the deciding factor! If you grate by hand, protect your fingers by leaving the stem intact for a handle. I also grated the zucchini right over the collander, saving a dish. Hmmm ... is dishwasher space a continuing theme?
Panko: Panko doesn't qualify as a 'fresh' bread crumb but since there's rarely a loaf of bread hanging around here, I always keep it on hand for recipes that call for bread crumbs. I find it pretty easy to find these days - even at my every-day supermarket.
Cheese: I used a Spanish manchego, one of my favorite cheeses of all time, as the recipe specified. It's got a sort of grown-up flavor, however, not 'stinky' but ripe and a bit sour. I think both kids and grown-ups would be more than happy with familiar supermarket mozzarellas and cheddars and wouldn't hesitate to use either one.