The recipe calls for baking this dish about 20 minutes, but I like to bake it for at least an hour, thus allowing some or most of the liquids to evaporate, and caramelizing the sugars in the vegetables. Depending on the quantity of the liquid in the casserole, it could take even longer. It tastes great either way.
1-lb zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch slices
1 T salt
3 T olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
1-lb tomatoes, (peeled, seeded and) chopped
1/4 – 1/2 c coarsely chopped fresh basil
pepper, to taste
whole basil leaves, as needed
3 T grated Parmesan
1. Toss zucchini with salt put in a bowl for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Or let drain in a colander over a bowl or sink, stirring occasionally. Drain and wrap in a clean dish towel or paper towels and gently wring out as much water as you can.
2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Heat 2 T oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, in batches, enough to make 1 layer and saute about a minute per side. Remove to a plate.
3. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the skillet and saute onion for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, lower heat some and cook until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring now and then. Add chopped basil and pepper.
4. Lightly oil a baking dish (8- or 9-inch square). Add half the zucchini. Top with half the basil leaves, half the tomato/onion sauce, and 1 T Parmesan. Top with remaining zucchini and any oil accumulated on the plate. Repeat layering ingredients, this time using up all the Parmesan.
5. Bake casserole uncovered for 20 minutes (see note above). Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot or at room temperature.