Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 40-50 mins
- 2 medium zucchini grated
- 1 sweet potato grated
- 1 cup polenta
- 1 medium (red) onion, finely diced
- 1 cup of grated Manchego or hard goats cheese (cow's milk cheese can be substituted). The final taste will vary depending on the flavour of the cheese
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 2 dessertspoons of pecorino (or parmesan) cheese
- Salt and pepper (cheeses are probably 'salty' enough)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees
- Line a baking dish with baking paper
- Add all ingredients and stir to combine
- Pour into baking dish
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, until browned on top and cooked through.
- Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Serve with salad.
It's zucchini season and with an abundance of them around (I had a ginormous one from my parent's garden) my go-to recipe is zucchini slice.
With so many people eating a gluten-free diet, I decided to adapt the classic recipe by using polenta instead of wheat flour. Polenta is made from corn, which is a gluten-free grain and popular in Northern Italian cooking.
I added a grated sweet potato and diced red onion as my dad had a beautiful supply from his garden and red foods are rich in the antioxidant polyphenol.
As I was making the zucchini slice, I thought about how it represented the Mediterranean diet, with a focus on vegetables and a grain. I used Spanish Manchego cheese, which is made from milk, as that is what I had in the fridge, and also what is often used in Mediterranean cooking. The second one I made I used a hard goats cheese, but my favourite was with the Manchego.
I added a bunch of chopped flat leaf parsley – fresh herbs are also an important component of the Mediterranean diet.
The classic recipe often has bacon in it, and while bacon is very tasty, processed meats should be minimised in our diet. Bacon is actually not needed in this variation of the recipe, as the cheeses and the sweetness of the polenta and sweet potato create a special, delicious taste.
As my 4 year old son was eating dinner, he commented that it smelt like cake! It was a family winner.
Leftovers are great for lunch, either cold or warmed up. This is also suitable for freezing.