Zucchini Bake with Pesto & Thyme


If you are a summer gardener, you probably have more zucchini than you know what to do with. If you frequent your local farmer’s market, you may have forgotten that you already bought zucchini at the store last week, bought a dozen gorgeous squash specimens from your favorite stand, then realized at home that you have more zucchini than you know what to do with. It could happen to anyone. Either way: if you may have more zucchini than you know what to do with, I have just the recipe for you. 

As you may have surmised, I am not much of a gardener. I am, however, a farmer’s market enthusiast. Here’s my similarly enthusiastic local-market-loving dog:


And some other nerd who gets way, way too excited when he sees other people after a recent foray to our farmer’s market: 


Once I had realized that I had suddenly invested heavily in zucchini, I set about developing a recipe for zucchini that would be a change from the delicious grilled variety that we have been having for dinner every single night. Ketch pulled his composure back together when I finished my recipe for this zucchini bake and sat like a proper good boy asking for a sample (with an incredibly serious fact, I might add): 


His intense begging is justified: this zucchini bake is a top notch way to diversify the zucchini flavors you may be used to this summer. The dish isn’t “eggy” enough to qualify as a traditional frittata, in my opinion. Eggs serve as more of a binding agent for all of the delicious flavors; the egg flavor isn’t pronounced in the least. That said, I wouldn’t hesitate to serve this for brunch or breakfast. 

I brought this to a work potluck lunch with the assumption that everyone would see it as a casserole or side dish. I noticed, though, that my co-workers seemed to think it was a dip (or maybe they always eat casserole atop corn chips). So, I think you can serve this recipe as a breakfast, a side dish, or, apparently, an appetizer. 

Zucchini & Thyme Bake with Pesto
Serves 6-8

You will need:
  • 2 large zucchini or summer squash (or one of each), ~4 cups total, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
  • Dash each salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar 
  • 1/3 cup feta
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce (optional)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan (to sprinkle on top, optional)

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375. Grease or spray a 9×9 baking dish. 
  • Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add olive oil, garlic, onion, and sliced zucchini. Stir in salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until zucchini has started to brown, stirring occasionally. 
  • While the squash is cooking, prepare the egg mixture. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs first, then add in sour cream, pesto, thyme, cheddar, feta, sundried tomatoes, and hot sauce (if using). 
  • After the zucchini mixture has cooked, transfer to the baking dish. Top with the egg mixture and stir gently to evenly distribute. Sprinkle Parmesan on top, if desired. 
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the dish is “set” (i.e. the dish doesn’t “jiggle” if you touch it). 
  • Serve hot. 
Note that this dish isn’t great leftover. I recommend eating it when it is prepared or the next day. Reheat in an oven for best flavor. Do not freeze for later use. 
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