It has been a few years since I have had a good zucchini crop. This year has been great so far. Barely keeping up with using them; I see a lot of zucchini bread baking in my future.
I decided to try an adaptation of Marcela Valladolid’s Zucchini Tortilla Casserole for dinner. To be honest, it was ok for dinner – pretty good, but nothing special. What has been really enjoyable are the leftovers! The flavors have had time to meld and it has been a real treat for lunch for the past few days.
So I am glad that it made a full tray (9″ x 13″), so that the 2 of us only took a piece of it out the first night. From now on, I may make this a day ahead and just reheat it for its initial serving.
Zucchini Tortilla Casserole
Adapted from Marcela Valladolid
Canola oil, for frying
10 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups tomato juice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 1/2 cups chopped zucchini (from 3 large zucchini) (from the garden)
1 1/2 cup fresh corn off the cob (from 1 ear) (from Ficner’s Farm)
3 poblano chiles charred, seeded, deveined, and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large heavy saute pan, add enough oil to come 2 inches up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil on medium-high heat. When hot, work in batches and quickly fry the tortillas for about 10 seconds on each side (they should still be pliable). Remove the tortillas from the heat and drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.
In a medium saute pan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and add the garlic and onion. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato puree. Cook for 10 minutes and turn the heat off.
In a separate large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the zucchini and corn. Cook for 2 minutes, and then add the chopped poblano chiles. Add 1/2 cup water to the mixture and cook for 4 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray. Cover the bottom with about 4 tortillas. Add 1/2 cup of the tomato juice mixture on top of the tortillas. Top with 1 1/2 cups of the zucchini mixture. Add 1 cup of the cheese. Sprinkle the first layer with some salt and pepper.
Start on the second layer with the tortillas, then the tomato juice, zucchini and cheese. Again sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Repeat for a third time, to finish off a third layer.
Place the casserole into the oven until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, 15 – 25 minutes. Serve hot. and enjoy.