Thursday, April 28, 2011

Zucchini Soufflé Casserole

If there is any ingredient I love to embrace the versatility of, it has to be eggs. I love everything about them. A few years ago, I experimented with seperating the eggs that went into a frittata, ending up with a thin rich omlette on the bottom of the dish and a fluffy pesto meringue on top. It took your average clean-out-the-fridge fast meal and instantly made it classy.

Tonight, on this verge of springtime in northeastern Ohio, I want eggs, and I want vegetables, and I want them now. Enter the zucchini soufflé attempt.

3 medium zucchini
5 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Grate zucchini and combine with garlic, butter, olive oil, several dashes of salt and a few pinches/grinds of black pepper in a medium saute pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook until zucchini is no longer white, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and drain off liquid.

Separate the eggs into two large bowls. Beat the whites with a whisk until stiff, then whisk in dried basil, salt, and pepper. Beat the yolks with milk, salt, and pepper, then add the flour and whisk for a few more beats. Add zucchini and cottage cheese and whisk until just combined.

Add 1/3 of the beaten egg whites to the zucchini mixture and stir a few beats. Add another 1/3 of the egg whites and gently fold into the zucchini mixture. Repeat with remaining egg white mixture.

Pour into a greased 9x13" glass baking dish and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serve with a salad that most definitely contains cucumbers (mine was artichoke hearts, onion, and English cucumber).