This one is based on a recipe from Jennifer Olvera over at seriouseats.com. We sure love our “melanzane alla parmigiana”, so substituting the eggplant for courgettes was an attractive summertime alternative. I still had half a batch of marinara sauce left from my oven-baked meatballs experiment. As the sauces were quite similar, I only need to add some wine and vinegar from this recipe to my marinara sauce and let it simmer for a while.
We don’t like the soggy consistency of deep-fried courgettes (with or without breadcrumbs), so I grilled them instead. As you can see I cut them lengthwise in 3 to 4 slices of about 1cm and “rebuilt” them with the alternate marinara/cheese layers. I totally forgot about adding the slices of chorizo, but expect that it will boost the flavors.
Overall, the courgettes are a delicious substitute to eggplant and combined well with the slightly creamy (I added a dollop of ricotta) and cheesy sauce. The recipe is well thought out. By first putting the courgette stacks in the oven for 15 minutes you get the infusion of the tomato sauce with parmesan and mozzarella with the well warmed through courgettes and by adding the final layer of cheese and oven grilling them for the last 5 minutes gets you a delicious browned and gooey cheese layer on top.
Even though the courgette was griddled and I drained and patted dry the mozzarella, there still was quite a bit of moisture in the baking pan. Therefore, I highly recommend serving it with a few slices of ciabatta to mop up the delicious sauce.
The recipe is accurate and would indeed serve 4. The only thing I was not sure about was that the recipe mentions that “you want zucchini that are at least 3 inches in diameter”. Here in the Netherlands, the biggest ones you can buy are 5cm / 2 inches in diameter tops, so I hope that is 7,5cm / 3 inches in length (in order to make the stacks) as otherwise, I am pretty sure that that kind of courgettes would be devoid of any flavor.
Without the added chorizo slices, the courgette could use from herbs (like fresh thyme or oregano) sprinkled over when stacking them.
Verdict: 8/10; Will be made again