2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups large dice Vidalia onion
1 ½ tablespoons fresh garlic
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs, divided
1 ½ cups fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided (we use Cracker Barrel)
2 pounds fresh zucchini trimmed and cut into quarter inch thick circles
1 ½ pounds fresh garden tomatoes sliced into quarter inch thick circles (we used Big Beef and Early Girls)
¼ cup fresh basil chopped (Don’t chop until needed in recipe. Basil turns black if chopped too soon.)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a medium sauté pan, place oil and bring heat to medium. Once hot, add onions and sauté three minutes. Add garlic, butter and oregano and cook for another two minutes.
Remove from heat and mix in salt, pepper, one cup of Panko, one cup of Parmesan and one cup of cheddar cheese. Set aside.
Spray a 9×9-inch or an 8×10-inch pan or dish with pan spray.
Pour in the remaining half cup of Panko. (This step helps absorb the liquid that the tomatoes and zucchini give off during baking.)
Layer the zucchini slices over each other in rows to cover the bottom.
Sprinkle the remaining half cup of Parmesan over the top.
Layer tomatoes over the zucchini and Parmesan in the same manner.
Cover the tops of the tomatoes with the remaining one cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
Take the reserved topping and at this point, chop the fresh basil and mix into the topping then spread the topping over the top of the tomatoes and cheese and bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Depending on your oven, the dish may take more or less than the 35 minutes. If getting too browned, cover with foil.
To test for doneness, poke the center with a fork to gauge the doneness of the zucchini on the bottom layer. As long as the zucchini is tender and the top browned, you are good to go.
Let sit ten minutes then cut into eight or more portions and serve as a side dish.
Keywords: zucchini, tomatoes, cheese