Zucchini Parmesan Grinders

We still had a large chunk of the huge zucchini left; I wanted to use it for dinner, but I was in a finicky mood. None of my zucchini pastas or casseroles were what I was looking for. But I had this big pile of chopped zucchini to deal with.

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I love eggplant parmesan grinders, so why not an adaptation using zucchini? This made for a really fun dinner, quite healthy but it felt and tasted like it was really unhealthy – that is always fun!

We added a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and basil from our garden, and our dinner was complete.

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As for my garden, things are finally starting to pick up steam, with nice daily harvests such as these.

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Zucchini Parmesan Grinders

adapted from Fabulous Zucchini Grinders on Allrecipes.Com

Marinara Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (from the garden)

1 tsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp white sugar

1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes

Kosher salt & pepper to taste


1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 cups zucchini, cubed (from Tori’s garden)

1 pinch red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shredded

2 petite Italian breads or 4 6-inch French, Italian or hoagie rolls, split


Preheat the oven to 400F.

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat (I used a cast iron skillet which takes longer to cook. If you use a regular non-stick skillet, make the sauce first). Cook the zucchini until lightly browned and tender, about 10 – 20 minutes (if it takes too long, you can cover the skillet for a few minutes). Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

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Make marinara sauce: heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, basil and red pepper flakes. Cook for a minute to two until fragrant. Add the sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

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Remove from heat and puree using a hand blender, blender or food processor. I like to leave the sauce a little chunky.

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Assemble the grinders: Spoon the zucchini evenly among the rolls.

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Top with about 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce per serving.

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Top with a handful of mozzarella and a touch of the Parmigiano Reggiano.

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Close the rolls, wrap in aluminum foil, then bake for 15 minutes or until the bread is heated through, rolls are soft and cheese is melted.

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If you used the petite Italian loaves, cut in half and serve one half to each person. Enjoy!

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Serves 4


Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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