This dish, whose name translates to “vegetables in the oven” is made with zucchini in this case. I can’t wait to try it with another vegetable- I’m sure that cauliflower or potatoes would be spectacular as well, or a combination of a few different vegetables would be fun to try too. Since it is assembled similar to a lasagna and can also be prepared several hours ahead, it gives a lot of freedom as to how you could use it. I think I will only use 1/2-2/3 cup of cream next time, as I felt that there was a more than adequate amount of excess cream in the completed dish.
Verudure Al Forno
Credit: Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis
2 teaspoons exra-virgin olive oil
5 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated fontina cheese
6 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 cup plain dried bread crumbs
~Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish with the oil. (I used an 8×10-inch stoneware dish and added 1 extra zucchini)
~Arrange enough zucchini slices over the bottom of the dish in a single layer to cover the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the salt and pepper. Pour 1/3 cup of the heavy cream over the zucchini and sprinkle with 1/3 cup each of mozzarella and fontina. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Pecorino Romano cheese, then with 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs. Repeat layering all ingredients 2 more times. (The vegetables can be assembled 8 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.)
~Place the baking dish on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake uncovered until golden brown on top and the sauce bubbles, about 40 minutes. Serve immediately.