Baked Zucchini with Feta, Preserved Lemon Butter & Crispy Bread
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4 medium-size zucchini (about 1 1⁄2 lb total), trimmed and halved lengthwise 1 small loaf soft French bread
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon rind
2 cloves garlic
1⁄4 cup fresh oregano leaves
1 1⁄2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from about 3 lemons)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 oz good-quality feta cheese in brine, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 425°F convection (450°F conventional).
To prepare the zucchini and bread: Arrange the zucchini halves, cut side up and close together, in a baking dish. Tear enough bread into rustic 1/2-inch pieces to yield 2 cups. In a medium bowl, toss the bread with the oil.
To make the butter: In a food processor, combine the butter, preserved lemon, garlic, oregano, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and process until smooth.
To assemble the dish: Generously dot the butter mixture evenly over the zucchini. Top the zucchini evenly with the feta and then with the bread, making sure they remain on top of the squash. Drizzle any oil remaining in the bowl from tossing the bread over the top.
To bake and serve: Bake for 15 minutes, until the cheese has browned and the zucchini is tender. Check the zucchini halfway through and rotate the dish 180 degrees if it does not appear to be baking evenly. Serve hot or at room temperature.