Zucchini-Carrot Egg Bake... with feta cheese. I've wanted to make a zucchini dish with baked eggs for some time now... even bought the required zucchini I needed. Our local farmer's market was having a great deal on the zucchini. I think that's how it usually works. If supply goes up, prices go down....especially near the end of the summer when there's an abundance of squash. This time around though, I ended up buying 3 large zucchinis for a single dollar! Really great deal. In any case, somehow I ended up using most of the zucchini I had bought. But later on, when I decided to make the aforementioned zucchini dish, I quickly realized there was only a single zucchini left for me to cook the dish with. Funny thing is that I still wanted to make the dish... was really looking forward to the eggs, I suppose:). So on the spur of the moment, I decided to substitute a large carrot for some of the zucchini that I lacked. And that's how the zucchini-carrot egg bake was invented:)....
It's a different sort of dish.. one that I've never made before. I ended up looking over a couple of recipes and combined the ideas to make this dish. But you know, we rather liked it! Love the creative use of the zucchini... the mixture sort of tastes like a sofrito. But the eggs along with the feta cheese really elevate the dish. Actually, I felt the feta cheese really brought the dish together. It's a quick and healthy sort of dish... perfect for lunch or dinner. A great little vegetarian dish that changes things around a bit, and uses humble ingredients. Nothing fancy, but delicious nonetheless... that is, if you like your veggies:). And since we're coming close to the end of summer, I felt the need to make yet another summery sort of dish... using zucchinis. One last time... for now, anyway:). Hope you enjoy...
Tip: I chose to leave the vegetable mixture pretty simple, but you can easily stir in some cream into it before adding the eggs.... for a luxurious version. Or you can substitute the feta cheese with another cheese... monterrey, pepper jack, cheddar, etc.
Note: While I chose to grate my tomatoes, you can just as easily chop them if you like. Oh, and you can use a variety of thin-skinned summer squash if you like.... like yellow crookneck, yellow zucchini, patty pan squash, etc.
You will need: inspired by Food Network and the Kitchn
1 lb zucchini, grated
1 1/2 tsps kosher salt
2-4 TBS olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 large carrot, grated*
2 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, grated
1/2 tsp smoked paprika( I used spicy)
salt and pepper as needed
crumbled feta cheese(could use goat cheese or any soft cheese)
* if you don't care to use a carrot , substitute with another medium zucchini and add it to the rest of the zucchini used in the recipe (for a total of 2 lbs).
1. Grate zucchini and sprinkle 1 1/2 tsps kosher salt. Place in colander to drain for 30 minutes (or so).
2. In the meantime, grate carrot, and tomatoes... chop onion and mince garlic. Set aside.
3. After 20-30 minutes, squeeze dry the zucchini.
4. Heat skillet and add oil. Add chopped onion and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and smoked paprika. Continue to saute on medium/low for an additional 3-5 minutes.
5. To the onion mixture, add the grated zucchini, carrot, and tomatoes. Stir to combine and continue to cook until mixture is no longer "wet" and liquid has evaporated... maybe 10-15 minutes. Adjust seasoning....if needed only.
6. You can add the eggs to zucchini-carrot mixture right in the skillet... or remove the vegetable mixture and add it to individual ceramic dishes. Smooth and flatten out the vegetable mix. Make a well and add a bit of oil in the well. Crack an egg inside the well. Sprinkle feta cheese around the eggs and bake in a preheated 375 deg F oven for 10-20 minutes( time varies according to how soft or hard you want your eggs). I baked mine in the toaster oven and it took quite a bit to cook the whites of the eggs. Just check on it.
7. Sprinkle with chives and serve with crusty bread... or in my case, some soft polenta:).