It’s a good thing Ben and I learned about the honor system on our visit to the goat cheese factory. Otherwise, we might not have known what to do when we stumbled upon a colorful farmstand on a back road between Amherst and Noho, with no other people in sight. Corn, tomatoes, cucumber, blueberries, peaches, and peppers – and tucked in a corner, a box to leave your cash. We let them keep the change and drove off with some goodies, include a big baseball bat of a zucchini for a whopping fifty cents. I went back and forth with a few ideas on how to use this in dinner this week, but settled on a variation of a zucchini and rice casserole (here’s my inspiration). I decided to grill my zucchini rather than steam or saute, because I really love the flavor it brings out. I used cottage cheese to bind the ingredients and feta for extra cheesy flavor, as well as a handful of fresh herbs (oregano and thyme) from my garden. I topped the casserole with thinly sliced tomatoes, after all, this was shaping up to be a fresh summer meal and nothing beats the extra color and flavor of summer tomatoes.
1.25 lb zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 onion, cut into chunks
1.5 cups cooked brown basmati rice
1 cup cottage cheese
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg white
handful of fresh herbs (oregano and thyme), chopped
3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
Spray zucchini and onion with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill in a grill basket until slightly charred. Combine rice, cottage cheese, garlic, herbs, and egg white in a large bowl; stir to combine, Mix in grilled zucchini and onions. Spray an 8″x8″ baking dish with nonstick spray and layer half of tomato slices evenly along bottom. Top with zucchini mixture, then remaining tomato slices and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400F until hot and bubbly and slightly browned.
Serves two. Per serving, 455 calories, 11 grams of fat, 34 grams cholesterol, 900 grams sodium, 63 grams carbohydrate, 9.6 grams fiber, 30 grams protein.