Zucchini Feta Casserole

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One of our favorites, a dish that exemplifies the good flavors of Balkan cuisine: tangy feta cheese, nutty bulghur, and herbed zucchini.  Leftover brown rice can be substituted for the bulghur and water in this recipe. We add a few flavors foreign to the Balkans, too: soy sauce and cheddar cheese.

 

 

Zucchini Feta Casserole
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup bulghur (or use 1½ cups cooked brown rice)
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 2 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 6 cups thinly sliced zucchini rounds
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grated feta cheese (5 ounces)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • ¾ to 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. To prepare the bulghur, place the bulghur in a bowl and pour the boiling water over it, cover and set it aside until it has absorbed the water and become soft and chewable.
  2. Sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until the onions are just translucent.
  3. Add the zucchini, dried herbs, and black pepper and continue to sauté on medium to low heat until the zucchini is tender, but not falling apart.
  4. In a bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
  5. Mix in the feta and cottage cheese.
  6. Add the chopped parsley, tomato paste, and soy sauce to the bulghur (or rice) and mix well.
  7. Assemble the casserole in an oiled 9 x 9-inch casserole dish.
  8. Layer first the bulghur (or rice) mixture, next the sautéed vegetables, and then the feta mixture.
  9. Top with the grated cheddar and the sliced tomatoes.
  10. Bake covered at 350° for 45 minutes.
Notes

For crustier cheese, uncover the casserole for the final 15 minutes of baking.
This casserole can be more easily served after it sits for 5 or 10 minutes.