Roasted Tomato, Zucchini and Smoked Cheese Casserole

June 18, 2014

Roasted Tomato, Zucchini and Smoked Cheese Casserole


I love smoked cheese.
Well, more like I love anything that is smoked.
Give me some smoked pork ribs or some of that Italian smoked prosciutto called “speck”, and I’m one happy camper.
But my heart lies with smoked cheese. Smoked cheddar, smoked gouda or queso idiazabal get my motor running.
In fact, I seldom buy them because they are just too tempting. Once I start, I can't stop eating them.
When I was a kid, my sis had to wrestle the knife out of my hand or I’d happily eat the whole slab of smoked cheddar, piece by piece.
Sometimes I would even hide the piece of cheese in the refrigerator - under a head of lettuce or something - and deny any knowledge of how it got there - if my mum would later discover it.

Roasted Tomato, Zucchini and Smoked Cheese Casserole


Here’s the thing about smoked cheese, it tastes like meat. Seriously.
Once I made (GF) Mac & Cheese using smoked gouda, and I swear my friends asked me if I had put bacon it.
Something to keep in mind for those vegetarians that may miss the flavor of bacon.
Throw some smoked cheese in and you’re halfway there to the real thing.
Do you know that you can actually smoke cheese on your BBQ? For real.
All you need is a soldering iron, a tin can and hardwood chips.
I would love to try it as well - even if that sounds a bit too MacGyverish to me - but something tells me not to. You know, I might burn down the house or something like that — talking about smoking everything.
Better to walk a couple of blocks to Murray’s to get me some of their amazing maple leaf smoked Gouda.

Roasted Tomato, Zucchini and Smoked Cheese Casserole


Okay, onto this casserole.
This is like the perfect dish to whip up during the summer when your garden’s too prolific or when you buy too much summer produce at the farmers’ market (e.g., zucchini and tomatoes).
Roasted zucchini are layered with caramelized tomatoes and smoked cheese.
What’s there not to love?
This irresistible casserole is a nice vegetarian dish on its own or can be a great side to grilled fish or meat.
Trust me, this recipe is always a hit. In fact, I usually have to double it all the time, and still there are no leftovers.

Roasted Tomato, Zucchini and Smoked Cheese CasseroleRoasted Tomato, Zucchini and Smoked Cheese Casserole                         Print this recipe!

Ingredients
Serves 4

3 medium zucchini
3 large tomatoes
12 slices good tasting smoked cheese (such as Gouda, Cheddar or Scamorza)
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, divided
Ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Wash the zucchini, cut the ends off and slice into ¼-inch thick rounds.
Place zucchini rounds in a large bowl, sprinkle with thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, ground black pepper and drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Toss until they’re evenly coated.
Arrange zucchini rounds onto the lined baking sheet, taking care not to overlap them (if they don’t fit onto 1 baking sheet, use 2.)
Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes until they start to lightly brown. Remove and set aside.
Wash tomatoes and slice into ½-inch thick slices and arrange them onto the remaining lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with oregano, garlic, remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, pepper and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Roast in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are concentrated and beginning to caramelize. Remove and set aside.
Lightly grease the bottom of 4 ramekins (or a 2-quart baking dish).
Cover the bottom of each ramekin with one tomato slice, then 4 zucchini rounds and top with one slice of cheese.
Repeat to make 3 layers (or stop at 2 if they don’t fit into the ramekins) making sure to end with a slice of cheese.
Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.
Serve warm.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 267 calories, 19 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbs and 15 grams of protein.

32 comments :

  1. "Roasted zucchini are layered with caramelized tomatoes and smoked cheese. What’s there not to love?" My thoughts exactly!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yum. Makes me miss being able to eat tomatoes!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh no Lauren, I always forget that you can't eat tomatoes ...so sorry you can't try this recipe.

      Delete
  3. Your story of your sis and the cheddar block reminds me of my mom - she LOVES cheese so much so that she will buy only a small block after spending 45 minutes oogling all the cheese in the cheese case and she would be ALL over this smoked cheese topped roasted tomato and zucchini dish!
    And yay - it's vegetarian!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your mum and I have a lot of things in common!

      Delete
  4. Yum! This would make a great little meal for me, no meat needed! :) It's funny how as a kid, you used to hide the foods you love. I actually still do that! Usually my hidden treasures center around desserts though. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You hide food from your kids? Seriously? LOL Lauren that's so funny!

      Delete
  5. Smoked anything wins my heart, but if I had to choose, I'd totally go for smoked cheese! Especially if it's paired with lots of caramelised zucchini and tomato ahhhh this sounds heavenly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My fave smoked cheese is queso idiazabal, unfortunately it's so expensive round here. I'm sure you can get some top quality idiazabal in Spain with at a decent price. I might to visit you soon!

      Delete
  6. Aw man, someone give that cheese a nicotine patch!! Smoking is not healthy! lol!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Drooling over the keyboard!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This looks crazy good!! I wish I could have it for lunch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can totally have it for lunch, I have some leftovers in the fridge. If you're willing to get here, they're yours!

      Delete
  9. This is a happy garden post, look at all these veggies! Totally loving this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pam. I imagine you have tons of summer produce in your garden, must be amazing!

      Delete
  10. Hi Mike, I have only had smoked cheese once or twice, will pick some up next time I go to the market and try this. Love the little white dishes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to try some Cheri, it's life changing! ;)

      Delete
  11. I have everything I need to make this, including the smoked cheddar! If you're a fan of all things smoked, try smoked salted almonds they're incredibly addictive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smoked salted almonds are super duper awesome. Another item I seldom buy because I would just eat it all!

      Delete
  12. OH my gosh!! Love love love smoked gouda cheese. This looks like the ultimate start to the day! Delish Mike, pinned!

    Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats

    ReplyDelete
  13. This looks amazing! Funny that you mention smoked cheese on the grill because I just made some of that a couple of weeks ago. It was so easy, and it tasted incredible! You should totally do it. But don't burn the house down...that would be sad.

    ReplyDelete
  14. We too love smoked cheese. I think it adds so much to anything that it is added into. I love those little dishes and this layered zucchini and tomato sounds delicious! Pinning

    ReplyDelete
  15. Smoked cheese, huh? Well, I sampled it at a health food store for the first time the other day and even though it was clearly labeled using microbial rennet I spat it out - into a tissue and NOT in front of anybody - because I doubted it was vegetarian. Woah does it taste eerily like meat. I figure that's the point of it?! Still... I'll admit you made me curious again now, though, as this looks really good.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hahahahaha love the MacGyver reference!!! The theme song is literally playing in my head right now.

    ReplyDelete