This dish makes a colorful presentation and is really quick and easy to prepare. I like how the blanching takes away any bitterness from the zucchini, and the fresh herbs and veggies get a dollop of richness from creme fraiche. If you are entertaining guests, you can complete the first few steps ahead of time and save the 5 or 10 minutes of baking until after they arrive. —laura
small zucchinis (or 1 large)
cherry tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters
fresh basil, chopped (parsley or chives would work fine too)
Cut the zucchini: discard ends and slice lengthwise into long, thin slices, less than 1/4 inch thick (if the zucchini is really long, you can cut the slices in half to fit in the roasting dish)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you finish chopping the veggies and herbs. When the water is boiling, gently add the zucchini slices and stir; blanch them for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened. Drain and transfer to a colander lined with paper towels to dry.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C). Place the dried, blanched zucchini slices in a ceramic or glass roasting dish coated with olive oil; sprinkle with salt & pepper. Spread creme fraiche over the tops and add tomato slices around sides and on top of the zucchini. Sprinkle the herbs on top and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until zucchini is soft in the middle and the creme fraiche is melted and starting to bubble.
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