August in the Midwest brings a profusion of fresh-zucchini dishes; zucchini casseroles (not to mention zucchini bread and muffins) are ubiquitous at both picnics and potlucks. Jeremy Jackson's casserole is made with chopped fresh zucchini that's been sautéed with onion, then mixed with farmer cheese, a fresh form of cottage cheese sold at supermarkets. The final touch: a crumbled saltine cracker topping.
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4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 melted
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium zucchini (about 2 pounds), cut into 1-inch dice
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups finely crushed saltine crackers
7 1/2 ounces farmer cheese (1 cup)
2 large eggs, beaten
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the vegetable oil. Add the chopped zucchini and onion, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Remove the zucchini and onion from the heat and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, stir the cracker crumbs with the farmer cheese. Stir half of the mixture into the zucchini and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the beaten eggs. Spread the remaining cracker crumb and farmer cheese mixture on top of the zucchini. Drizzle the casserole with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Bake the casserole for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp on top. Let the casserole stand for 5 minutes, then serve warm.
The zucchini casserole can be prepared earlier in the day and reheated in a 350° oven.
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