Zucchini Parmesan Gratin
A summertime favorite in our family. Perfect for using up those ginormous zucchini that seem to appear out of no where in your garden!
2 very large (or 4 smaller) zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups marinara sauce (homemade or store bought), warm
1 cup olive oil (you may not need it all)
3 large eggs, whisk to blend
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
fresh basil, torn into pieces
Line a baking sheet with paper towels and sprinkle both sides of zucchini with salt. Let sit about 10 minutes. Gently pat the water from zucchini surface. Season with black pepper.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Combine bread crumbs with parmesan in another bowl (setting aside 1/2 cup) and flour in a third bowl.
Dip each side of zucchini in flour, shaking off excess, then dip in egg to coat both sides and finally dip in bread crumbs. Set aside. Repeat until all zucchini are breaded.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large pan over medium/medium high heat. Cook zucchini about 3 minutes each side until golden brown. Set aside and continue until all zucchini are cooked; continue adding olive oil as necessary. (you may need to wipe out pan part way through cooking if you get too many browned bits hanging around - just wipe with a dry paper towel)
Spread 2 cups sauce in a lightly oiled 9x12 dish. Layer zucchini in a single slightly overlapping layer (shingled look), spread with 1 cup sauce and half the mozzarella. Repeat to make a second layer. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan/panko mixture.
Broil in oven for about 5 minutes or until top is lightly browned and cheese is melted. Just before serving, garnish with torn pieces of basil and extra grated parmesan if desired.