Cheesy Zucchini Tomato Basil Bake

The original recipe is by Gluten Free For Good, who was inspired by Vegetarian Times Magazine. I adapted the recipe to vegan standards.

I know we’re well into autumn right now. In fact, November is one of my favorite months (mostly because of Thanksgiving and my birthday). So why am I making this late summer recipe full of hearty tomatoes and ripe green zucchini? Because I honestly couldn’t resist it. And I know I’m betraying the seasons, but this was just too yummy to pass up. I’m sure it’s even better in the summer with organic farm fresh produce.

In all honesty, I skipped some of the prep work Gluten Free For Good suggests (because hey, I’m a hungry college student! I don’t have time to wait around for 45 minutes while the extra moisture drains). So, think of this as the “quick” version.

Also, I forgot the olives (blasphemy, I know). They were sitting in my fridge and slipped my mind. But! warming this up in the microwave with some added olives is delicious. The microwave also melts more of the vegan cheese for some reason. I don’t know why the oven had trouble causing it to melt, but it still tastes delightful.

Ingredients

4 to 6 tomatoes, sliced

2 to 3 medium-sized zucchinis, sliced

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons kalamata olives, chopped

1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped

2 handfuls Daiya Vegan Cheese, mozzarella flavor

1/2 package Vegan Gourmet Mozzarella, sliced (if you’re soy-free, try using more Daiya cheese)

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté zucchini for a few minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a plate. You’ll have to do this in batches and add a touch more oil as you go. As you wait, be sure to sprinkle the sliced zucchini and tomato with salt.

3. Layer half the zucchini slices in a lightly oiled baking dish. Top with half the tomatoes, then half the garlic, olives, basil and vegan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat the process with the remaining zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, olives and basil. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil (maybe 1-2 teaspoons) and top with the rest of the cheese.

4. Cover with foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 20 to 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted, golden brown and the dish is bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes and serve.

5. For leftovers, reheat in the microwave.

For meal ideas, try serving with grilled fish or on toasted bread.

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Tags: ,

Categories: Appetizer, Casserole, Season: Summer, Side dish

Author:rsedlak1

Became a voracious, unapologetic bookworm in 4th grade after reading the first three Harry Potter books. Have a thing for dystopias, young adult novels, classic literature and funny memoirs (re: Mindy Kaling / Tina Fey). English and journalism geek, media and pop culture critic, food writer and blogger, editor of an entertainment magazine. Hobbies include: my Netflix account, cooking, gardening, music, art and hiking.

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