Can you tell by the title that I grew up in Minnesota? Actually I was given a version of this recipe when I lived in Michigan many years ago so it’s more of a ‘bake’ or ‘casserole’.
The original recipe included a double layer of sliced zucchini, onions, tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese and fresh basil (salt & pepper to taste) – baked until done in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. I made it this way for years. With all the water content in these vegetables it was quite juicy and I loved drinking the tasty leftover liquid.
A few years ago I started adding sliced potatoes to the mix to make a more substantial main dish. The potatoes also soak up a lot of the juice. By varying the cheese selection (sharp cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack to name a few) or using several kinds of cheese together – how about a little goat or blue in the mix (?) – the dish takes on different flavors each time.
There is no hard and fast recipe. Just use what you have on hand and fill up your favorite baking dish. With potatoes added it will probably take at least an hour or maybe more if you have a very large pan. I cover it for the first half hour to give it a good start then remove the cover to let some of the liquid evaporate and to brown the top just a little.
The next time I make this, I’m adding eggplant, hence a ratatouille. Noel got carried away in the garden and we have 16 plants each producing several of the purple-globed fruit!