Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2020:
* Make at least 20 recipes for the Instant Pot
* Use the Spiralizer more often

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Zucchini and Tomato Gratin and Baked Pesto Chicken

My garden doesn't like to pace itself.  Suddenly--BAM!--zucchini extravaganza!  I discovered another large zucchini that we somehow missed and wondered what to do with it.  We've been having zoodles and grilled/baked zucchini spears and zucchini muffins.  I wanted--no, needed--something different.  I noticed I had a few ripe tomatoes in my garden as well, so I found this recipe online for a baked gratin. I was even able to use some of my fresh basil in there. I really liked it.  The cheesy tomatoes were my favorite part (and I'm not typically a tomato lover).   The only downside was that I had a lot of liquid left in the bottom of the dish.  I'm not sure if that was from the zucchini or tomatoes.  But I'd definitely make this again.   I served it along with an easy baked pesto chicken (recipes below).  

Zucchini and Tomato Gratin
4-6 servings

1 extra-large zucchini (or 3-4 small zucchini)
2 large tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
8 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded  (you can substitute Gruyere or mozzarella)
1/4 cup shredded/grated Parmesan cheese

Slice the zucchini in 1/2-inch slices, then cut into halves if diameter is large.   Use 1/2-inch slices for the tomatoes, then quarter.    Put the veggies in a large bowl and toss with olive oil.  Add the onion, garlic, and seasonings. and toss to coat.

Turn the veggies into a greased baking dish.  Bake at 350º for 25 minutes.  Top with the Fontina and sprinkle with Parmesan.  Continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes.


Baked Pesto Chicken

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/2 cup basil pesto, plus extra 1/4 cup for serving (optional)

Basil Pesto:
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
salt to taste

To make pesto, combine nuts, basil, garlic, and Parmesan in food processor and pulse until chopped.  While the processor runs, add oil in a steady thin stream until it comes together.  Add salt to taste.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Rub pesto all over.  Place in a baking dish and bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes or until done (time will depend on how thick the chicken is).  I had thin-cut chicken so mine only took 15-20 minutes to be done (reach 165º).   If desired, add extra pesto to the cooked chicken.

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