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Zucchini Timbales

James Carrier
Yield Makes 6 to 8 servings
N0tes: If making up to 1 day ahead, prepare through step 5; cover and chill. Let warm to room temperature and unmold.

Ingredients

  • About 1 1/2 ounces crusty Italian or French bread
  • 3 pounds zucchini
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • About 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • About 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 firm-ripe tomatoes (6 oz. each)
  • Fresh oregano sprigs (optional), rinsed

Nutrition Information

  • calories 153
  • caloriesfromfat 65 %
  • protein 5.2 g
  • fat 11 g
  • satfat 2.2 g
  • carbohydrate 12 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • sodium 281 mg
  • cholesterol 4 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cut bread into 1/2-inch chunks. In a food processor or blender, whirl into coarse crumbs; you should have 2/3 cup.

  2. Rinse zucchini and trim and discard ends. Cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds.

  3. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium heat, stir bread crumbs often until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Pour into a bowl.

  4. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to pan and increase heat to medium-high. Stir in zucchini, garlic, chopped oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Uncover and stir often until zucchini is browned and soft when pressed, 7 to 10 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in toasted crumbs, the parmesan cheese, and more salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Generously oil six to eight ramekins (1/2- to 3/4-cup size) with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Divide zucchini mixture evenly among ramekins and press in firmly. Let stand at room temperature at least 5 minutes or up to 4 hours (see notes).

  6. Rinse and core tomatoes; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange 3 tomato slices on each of 6 to 8 salad or dinner plates. Run a knife around inside edge of ramekins and invert zucchini timbales onto tomatoes; if necessary, hold each ramekin and plate together and shake gently to release. If desired, garnish with oregano sprigs. Add more salt and pepper to taste. If desired, drizzle a little olive oil over tomatoes to taste.