Like so many recipes that were born out of thrift, this is a great way to use up stale sourdough. Buffalo mozzarella is a bit more of an indulgence, but it makes it taste so much better.
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 500 ml (2 cups) passata (puréed tomatoes)
- 3 basil leaves, torn
- ½ stale loaf chewy sourdough, sliced lengthwise
- 500 g zucchini (about 4), cut lengthwise into 7 mm-thick pieces, chargrilled
- 300 g buffalo mozzarella (see Note) or bocconcini, torn into small pieces
- 80 g parmesan, grated
- mixed leaf salad, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in passata and basil, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes or until slightly reduced. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 3 litre casserole or baking dish and smear base with tomato sauce. Cover with one-third of the bread. Spoon over enough sauce to soak bread, top with half the zucchini, then dot over one-third of the mozzarella. Season and drizzle with extra oil. Repeat layering once more, then top with remaining bread, sauce and mozzarella. Scatter over parmesan.
Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden. Serve with salad.
• Buffalo mozzarella, from select delis and specialty grocery stores, is stretched curd cheese made from water buffalo milk.
Photography Alan Benson. Food preparation Asher Gilding. Styling Michelle Crawford.
As seen in Feast magazine, April 2014, Issue 30.