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 2017:
* Use the Spiralizer at least once per week for healthy veggie-rich meals
* Continue to spin from the Wheel of Meals for recipe inspiration

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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