When you're planning a date night in, you want recipes that deliver on flavor and presentation, but don't take all evening to prepare. This recipe for Parmesan roasted zucchini from Ina Garten's new cookbook, Cooking for Jeffrey, is a perfect fit for all your side dish needs.
This recipe is easily scalable, whether you're making it for two for a cozy evening at home or for a larger group for a potluck or dinner party.
As far as serving goes, Ina notes that "You can serve it hot out of the oven or at room temperature as part of a buffet, where a big platter of roasted zucchini looks gorgeous."
Parmesan Roasted Zucchini
6 medium zucchini (2 1/2 to 3 pounds total)
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread flakes)
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Trim the stem end of the zucchini, cut them in half lengthwise, and scoop out a small channel of seeds with a regular teaspoon. Place the zucchini in one layer on a sheet pan, brush generously all over with olive oil, and turn the zucchini cut-side down. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until just tender but still firm when tested with the tip of a small paring knife.
Meanwhile, make the bread crumbs. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, parsley, basil, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the panko and 3 1/2 tablespoons of oil and mix well.
Turn the zucchini cut-side up and spoon a heaping tablespoon of the panko mixture evenly on each zucchini. Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the panko is crispy. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Make ahead: Prepare the zucchini and the crumb mixture separately and refrigerate for up to a day. Roast before serving.
Reprinted with permission from Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten, copyright (c) 2016. Published by Clarkson Potter.