Summer

Ladybugs on a Log

August 15, 2011
Author Notes

This started as a recipe my sister sent me a long time ago for baked zucchini with bread crumbs that has evolved over the years in both of our kitchens. This is a simplified version in which the red cherry tomatoes star, as they melt sweetly onto their zucchini logs. - Fairmount_market —Fairmount_market

Test Kitchen Notes

Creativity goes a long way in cooking, and Farimount_market demonstrates that here. From the name to the ingredients, this recipe is a perfect example of how simple and original are the two parts that make up a well-constructed dish. The ingredients are basic but refined and the directions are easy to follow; in part because of the few steps involved in creating this lovely dish. It comes together in just a few minutes, could be adapted to accommodate different tastes or ingredients, is a good choice for the home cook on a budget, and still seems very elegant. We had leftovers the next day, which I mashed with a fork to make into a spread for pita chips -- also good! - checker —checker

  • Serves 2 to 4
Ingredients
  • 6 small zucchini
  • 16 red cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 20 leaves basil
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Remove the ends of the zucchini and slice them into 1/4 inch strips lengthwise (about 3 or 4 strips per small zucchini). Halve the cherry tomatoes.
  3. Spread some olive oil on the bottom of a baking dish and arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer. Brush the zucchini with a little more olive oil and arrange the tomato halves on top, cut side down. Sprinkle over the pine nuts.
  4. Finely chop the basil and anchovy fillets and combine in a bowl with the bread crumbs, grated cheese, and a generous amount of black pepper, using your hands to mix the anchovy bits into the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the zucchini and tomatoes.
  5. Bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes until the tomatoes have collapsed and the breadcrumb mixture is nicely browned. Serve warm.

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Review
I'm a biology professor and mother of two, and in my (limited) free time I love to cook, which is much more forgiving than laboratory science. Last year I helped start a farmers market in my neighborhood, and to promote it, I created a food blog: fairmountmarket.blogspot.com. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with recipes for local, seasonal ingredients and finding fun ways to cook with my children.