My mom made this dish (sometimes just with vegetables, hold breadcrumbs) as a favorite side dish when I was little. Over the years she caught on that I loved it more than anything she made to go with it. After years of ignoring the chicken or pork on the plate she finally started preparing for me as a main dish, center plate. I love this as a meat-free main course.
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for liberal drizzling
- 4 to 5 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced with a mandoline or the slicing side of box grater
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups coarsely grated stale white bread or peasant bread
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 5 to 6 small, firm zucchini, thinly sliced or mandoline-sliced lengthwise
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 4 small vine tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour about 2 tablespoons olive oil into casserole dish and add about 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add potatoes in overlapping concentric circles to cover the bottom of the pan, moving the oil and butter around the potatoes as you place them. Pat into place when an even layer is formed and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and roast potatoes until lightly golden at edges, about 20 minutes. Remove and cool.
Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.
Arrange 1/3 of the zucchini in shingled layer and top with 1/3 of the onions and garlic then drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Arrange the next layer of zucchini in opposite direction then onions and garlic. Repeat again for three layers of zucchini total.
Cut an x in skin of tomatoes and drop into boiling water for a minute. Add to ice bath to stop the cooking and cool, then peel and slice. Arrange tomatoes over the top of the zucchini then top everything with the breadcrumb mixture and pat down. Cover with parchment cut to fit the casserole dish.
Bake casserole 90 minutes, let stand one hour. Cut and serve as side dish or a light main with green salad.