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Zucchini Casserole

2 -2  ½ lbs zucchini,
½ cup plain raw white rice,
1 cup minced onion,
3-4tbs olive oil,
2 large cloves garlic mashed or minced,
2 tbs flour,
2 ½  cups warm liquid(zucchini juice, plus milk heated in a pan just watch so it doesn’t curdle),
2/3 cups grated parmesan cheese plus 2 tbs for top, salt and pepper

Heavily buttered 6-8 cup flameproof casserole dish @ 1 ½ inch deep
2 tbs additional olive oil


Shave the stem & tip of each zucchini, scrub vegetable thoroughly to ensure no dirt or sand. If large, cut them in half. If they have large tough seeds, remove. Rub the zucchini on the coarse side of a box grater and place in a colander over a bowl.  For each 1 lb (2 cups) of grated zucchini toss 1 tsp of salt and mix thoroughly – let squash drain 3-4 minutes.

Just before cooking squeeze a handful dry and taste. If to salty rinse with cold water, dry and taste again. Saltiness is to personal taste. Squeeze zucchini gently and let the zucchini water run into the bowl with the rest of the liquid. Dry on paper towels, zucchini will not be fluffy.

While zucchini is draining, drop the rice into boiling salted water, bring rapidly back to a boil and boil exactly 5 minutes (you are par boiling), drain and set aside.

In a large frying pan cook the onions in 3 tbs of olive oil slowly for 8-10 minutes until tender and translucent. Raise the heat and stir several minutes until lightly brown. Stir in the grated zucchini and garlic.  Toss and turn for 5-6 minutes until zucchini is almost tender.

Sprinkle in flour and stir over moderate heat for 2 minutes and remove from heat.  Gradually stir in hot liquid being sure flour is well blended and not lumpy. Return to stove over moderate heat and stir in blanched rice and all but 2 tbs of the cheese. Taste for seasoning. Turn into buttered casserole dish. Toss remaining cheese on top and dribble olive oil over cheese.

About ½ hour before serving bring to simmer on stove top (you can skip this step if your casserole dish is not flameproof), then set in upper third of oven that has been preheated to 450 degrees until bubbly and brown, the rice should have absorbed all the liquid.


Adapted from Julia Childs

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