Zucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit Penso

Zucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping

Zucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit PensoThis light, fresh and tasty bake is quick and easy to assemble. It can be served warm or cold, as an appetizer or a vegetarian entrée, or cut into small cubes and served as finger food.

The original recipe comes, once again, from the fabulous Sephardi cuisine (more information about it can be found HERE) and has many variations. The ones I’ve come across with were all prepared without a crust.
As much as I love the simple original recipe, I thought it could benefit from a bit of crunchiness on top. So I’ve decided to add a layer of chopped roasted hazelnuts, breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese. I think the topping adds a lot to the dish in flavor and texture, but feel free to omit it, or experiment with other nuts and cheeses.

Makes: 20 medium squares
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes
Ingredients:
For the bake:
1 Tbs olive oil
4 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, finely grated
10 oz (285 grams) unsalted farmer’s cheese
4.5 oz (125 grams) crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 XL eggs
3 Tbs flour
For the topping:
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup roasted unsalted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 385F (195C). Oil a 7”x11” (17.5cm x 28cm) baking pan with the olive oil.
2. Mix the grated zucchini with the salt in a large colander. Place over a bowl for about 10 minutes, to let the liquids drain (squeeze from time to time to fasten the process). You will end up with about 3 cups after the process.
Zucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit PensoZucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit Penso
3. Meanwhile, mix all the rest of the ingredients for the bake in a large bowl. Add the squeezed zucchini and mix well. Transfer to the oiled pan and even the top with a spatula.
Zucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit PensoZucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit Penso Zucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit PensoZucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit Penso
4. Mix the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl and scatter all over the zucchini layer.
Zucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit PensoZucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit Penso
5. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the bake is set. Serve warm or cold.
Zucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit PensoZucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit Penso
Zucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping Ronit Penso

52 thoughts on “Zucchini Cheese Bake with Hazelnuts Topping

  1. ChgoJohn says:

    You know, Ronit, as much as I love zucchini and, of course, cheese, I bet the star of this dish are the hazelnuts. They bring such great texture and a wonderful flavor to each bar.

    Like

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