The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

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July 5, 2013

BBQ My Way: A summer veggie side dish

— This summer, we are growing tomatoes due to some extra pots that needed to be filled—as good a reason as any, I suppose. We plant herbs every year --things like basil, thyme, mint, chives, Italian parsley and rosemary. Until this summer we have never planted tomatoes because clients always bring plenty to my office. (A shout out to the best clients in the world.)

Now, we are relishing the fruits of our labor. Recently, Liz overwhelmed me with our harvest of two really small, albeit deliciously sweet, tomatoes. It was then that she told me they were cherry tomato plants. Bummer.

Anyway, this time of the year gardeners will be harvesting lots of zucchini and tomatoes. A few years ago Liz came up with a fantastic side dish that always receives raves. So for this week's column, I officially turn over the keyboard to Liz.

 Liz, it's all yours.

Thanks, Dave-O-King-of-BBQ (that's what he likes to be called at home...okay, not really, but that would be funny.) This first summer veggie side is one of our family favorites. I've been making it for years and came up with it when we had an abundance of tomatoes, zucchini, and basil on hand. We call it “Zucchini Casserole” because I never came up with anything more creative, I guess, but once you taste it, you'll call it “Delicious!”

Delicious Zucchini Casserole

4 medium zucchini or yellow squash (or a combo of both) -- sliced to 1/4” thickness

3 medium size ripe tomatoes, slice to 1/4” thickness

1 large sweet onion, sliced thinly

¼ c. fresh basil or 2 tsp. of dried basil

3/4-1 c. shredded parmesan cheese (you could also use shredded, packaged Italian cheese)

salt & pepper to taste

2-3 T. olive oil

(A disclaimer here: the amounts listed above are approximated ... just be sure to have enough zucchini and tomato for two layers. If you like more cheese .... add it! You can't mess this up. Honestly.)

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