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Mexi-Italian Zucchini Mozzarella Casserole
Jul 30th, 2004

Now I give you the Mexi-Italian Zucchini Mozarrella Casserole, as dreamed up by yours truly in a moment of panic. One of my 'you can cook it in your sleep' dishes is a Mexi-casserole with corn tortillas, black beans, cheese, salsa, and ground turkey. It's not fancy, but it's good and makes enough for lunch leftovers. So earlier this week I thought I would make a vegetarian variation substituting zucchini and corn for the ground turkey, as we had lots of the former and none of the latter. So I was happily sauteing the zucchini and starting to assemble the casserole when I realized I had no black beans either. So, out of the original ingredients required, I had on hand corn tortillas, and maybe some cheese. Although it really wasn't the right kind.

But I did not cry, nor did I order pizza. I was strong, resolute, and just started throwing random crap from my cupboards into the casserole. Thus was born the amazing (and actually quite tasty) Mexi-Italian Zucchini Mozzarella Casserole.

It's a mish-mash middle America type dish, but after eating it for one dinner and two lunches, I give it two thumbs up on the comfort food scale. As expected, Ian thought it was fabulous and Jay thought it was terrifying. I believe he had lemonade for dinner.


Mexi-Italian Zucchini Mozzarella Casserole

2 medium zucchini
1 small sweet onion
1 tsp oregano and some onion powder
Corn tortillas
Tomato sauce
1 clove garlic
Basil
1 cup or so frozen corn
1/2 ball of fresh mozzarella
1 can small white beans, drained and rinsed

Topping
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Oregano


Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the zucchinis in half lengthwise and then chop into thin half moon slices. Chop the onion. Heat some oil over medium-high heat and saute the vegetables. Sprinkle with onion powder and oregano at some point. Cook until soft.

Meanwhile, spray a casserole pan with cooking spray and arrange the corn tortillas to overlap and cover the bottom. Brush the tortillas with tomato sauce. If you have a spare 4 year old, he or she will be glad to help paint the tomato sauce over the tortillas. You just might have trouble getting them to stop. Sprinkle the tomato sauce with minced garlic and basil.

When the veggies are done, add them to the casserole and top with the corn (still frozen is fine). Add your small white beans. Then grate the fresh mozzarella and sprinkle over top.

Pulse leftover french bread in a food processor, or somehow come up with a half a cup or so of bread crumbs. Add the parmesan cheese and oregano to the crumbs in the food processor and whizz around. Sprinkle the crumb mixture on top of the casserole.

Put the casserole in the oven and cook till done. I don't know, I didn't time it, but probably 15 or 20 minutes. Its done when the mozzarella is melty and the crumb topping is crispy.

-Kymm
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© 2006, Kimberly Cooperrider | kymmco@excite.com