This is a light, flavorful side dish (or main dish) that is PERFECT for summer! The steps to salt the zucchini and tomatoes isn't mandatory but will prevent this dish from getting soggy because it eliminates all excess moisture during the cooking process. The taste will remain unchanged so it's skippable, if short on time but you may have to pick this up with a slotted spoon if skipping this step.
- Drape tomato slices over colander, sprinkle with salt, and let drain for 45 minutes.
- Spread zucchini on baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt. Let stand 30 minutes to sweat out excess moisture. Rinse well and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 375. Heat 1 t oil in nonstick skilled over medium-high heat. Saute' zucchini 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to plate. Do this in 2 batches, if necessary and add more oil between batches.
- Layer half of zucchini slices in 8-inch square baking dish. Top with half of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with half the garlic, 1 T olives, half of basil, and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese; season with pepper. Repeat with remaining zucchini slices, tomatoes, garlic, olives and basil. Drizzle top with 3 t oil and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake 20 minutes more or until cheese is melted and gratin is bubbling.
- Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
The combination of tomatoes drained, zucchini cooked well,and parmesan or mozzarella,is absolutely fantastic! My tastebuds would be happy for this to be the whole meal:)