This makes a wonderful accompaniment to a main meal of fish. There will be lots of juices let in the pan, so make sure you serve with plenty of crusty bread.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to garnish
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 small celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium zucchini (courgettes), thinly sliced
  • sea salt
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, toasted
  • 3 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 50 g (1¾ oz/⅓ cup) black olives, pitted and halved
  • 100 g (3½ oz) cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 large potato, very thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
  • 60 g (2 oz/¾ cup) grated pecorino or parmesan
  • 14 zucchini (courgette) flowers, washed, stamens removed and opened flat
  • crusty bread, to serve

Cook's notes

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.


Serves 6 as a substantial side dish.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Mix together the garlic, parsley and 100 ml (3½ fl oz) of the olive oil in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the base of a large round baking dish (mine has a diameter of 30 cm/12 in). Layer in the ingredients in the following order: half the onion, half the celery, half the zucchini, half the garlic and parsley oil, salt to taste, half the fennel seeds, half the tomato, half the olives, half the cabbage, half the potato, half the breadcrumbs, half the grated cheese, then salt to taste. Repeat the layers once more, finishing with grated cheese and salt, then cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Arrange the zucchini flowers around the border and cover again with foil. Bake for another 20–30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes. Check the potatoes are cooked through – if not, put the dish back in the oven for a further 5–10 minutes.
  5. Scatter with extra parsley and serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.


Recipe and images from Adriatico by Paola Bacchia, Smith Street Books, RRP $55.00