Zucchini is such a convenient and delicious vegetable. It is inexpensive, and you can find it -year–round, although it is best in the summer. In this delicious and simple recipe, the zucchini is baked into a parmigiana but does not have the traditional frying step. I like using a large baking pan and making just one layer; this way, the zucchini will dry up more in the oven, and you will have more of the crispy cheese top, which everybody loves.
2 pounds medium zucchini
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces sliced -whole–wheat bread
4 cups Marinara Sauce (page 80)
2 cups shredded -low–moisture mozzarella
1 cup Grana Padano or -Parmigiano–Reggiano
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the whole zucchini, and bring back to a boil. Simmer until the zucchini are almost tender throughout, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, and slice lengthwise into -½–inch–thick slices. Season with the salt.
Grease a -9–by–13–inch baking dish with the butter, and fit the bread in one layer into the bottom, trimming to fit if necessary.
Layer as follows: Spread the bread with 2 cups of the marinara sauce. Arrange half of the zucchini in an even layer. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and Grana Padano. Sprinkle with all of the basil. Arrange the remaining zucchini in an even layer. Spread with the remaining marinara, and top with the remaining mozzarella and Grana Padano. Bake, uncovered, until browned and bubbly, about 35 to 40 minutes.