Summer Vegetable and Tomato Tian with Parmesan Bread Crumbs

Roasted tomatoes, toasty cheese and crunchy bread belong together.  Grilled cheese with with a slice of fresh tomato inside?  Bruschetta with tomato?  This strata?  Yes please, especially when there is a layer of caramelized onions hidden underneath the tomatoes.

I just eye-balled the proportions of zucchini and tomato, but when I make this again, I will use double rows of tomatoes and single rows of zucchini.  Or even all tomatoes.  

We had some friends stop by during an epic drive across the country, and the four of us took this down easily as a side with roasted chicken.  The recipe is a bit involved, but can be put together ahead of time. 

Do you have any roasted tomato and cheese recipes that you love?  Please share!

By the way, I've been working on some aesthetic improvements for this place to make it feel a little more homey.  It's coming along, slowly, and may be ready next week.  I hope you'll like it.

Summer Vegetable and Tomato Tian with Parmesan Bread Crumbs

1/3 c. plus 2 tsp olive oil, more for the pan
1 T fresh mint, chopped (basil would be a great substitute)
1 T orange juice
1 t. balsamic vinegar
kosher salt
12 oz zucchini, sliced
1 1/2 lb small ripe tomatoes, sliced
2 medium onions, sliced
1/2 c. breadcrumbs
3/4 c. parmigiano-reggiano, grated
1 T fresh parsley, chopped

1.  Combine the zucchini slices with the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, one tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and mint.  Set aside to marinate.

2.  Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat, and cook the onions slowly until they begin to turn light golden brown.  This can take ten to fifteen minutes.

3.  Place the cooked onions in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch casserole.  Drain the juices from the tomato and zucchini, and layer the zucchini and tomato slices over the onions.

4.  Combine breadcrumbs, two teaspoons of olive oil, and cheese.  Sprinkle over the tian, and drizzle with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Bake at 375 for 60-70 min.

To make this primal/paleo friendly and gluten-free, substitute crushed plantain chips for the breadcrumbs.  (Thanks to Health-Bent for this idea!)

This is the fifteenth recipe I've made from Fast, Fresh & Green by Susie Middleton, a cookbook so awesome that I am cooking my way through all the recipes.  Sue's online home is Six Burner Sue, where you can find her hard at work running a vegetable farm on Martha's Vineyard and developing recipes for a second cookbook that will be called Fresh & Green for Dinner

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